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Canadian athletes will not compete at Tokyo 2020 Games due to risks of COVID-19 –



The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee say they will not send athletes to compete in Tokyo if the Games — set to begin July 24 — go ahead as scheduled.

Backed by the Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, the COC and CPC say they have “made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.”

The two committees are calling on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Games for a year, citing the safety of athletes and the general public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health,”  the committees said in a statement Sunday night.

“With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games”. 

The statement also cited the scope of the public health threat. “Containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.”

Seyi Smith, chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, said the decision will ensure everyone is safe now, and in the future, and will ensure Canada has the best competitive team.

“It’s been a collective process to get here,”  Smith said.

He said officials from the COC spent all of Sunday calling the 14 members of the athletes’ commission to get their insights on how to proceed.

“It’s the uncertainty that is the worst thing. In sport and in life. People are sick, people are dying.”

The move comes hours after the IOC said it was taking a month to consider postponing the 2020 Olympics after an emergency meeting earlier on Sunday.

However, the IOC stated in a press release that “cancellation is not on the agenda” with respect to the upcoming Games.

Crushing and a relief

In a letter to athletes Sunday night, Canada’s Chef de Mission Marnie McBean tried to provide comfort in light of the difficult decision.

“I can imagine this note is in part both crushing and a relief. We’ve been waiting for some real decisions,” she said.

“Please remember we are all in this together as Team Canada, and as a nation. The key is for the Olympics to happen when it is safe and responsible for everyone,” McBean said.

Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee, said the health of the global committee is the priority.

“We are relieved that cancelling the Games is not a consideration, but we feel that a four-week timeline on a decision is not soon enough, and that a one-year postponement of the Games is truly the only option,” he said in a statement.

Ball is in IOC’s court

In a separate letter sent to Olympic athletes, IOC president Thomas Bach offered assurances that “we are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalized these discussions within the next four weeks.”

The COC and CPC say they are thankful for the IOC’s assurance that it will not cancel the Tokyo 2020 Games and that they understand the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.

“We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport,” the statement said.

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Woods on Masters: 'My body was ready' – TSN



Tiger Woods felt strong and fit enough to compete for another green jacket. He could sense the adrenaline starting to flow, along with a strange sensation.

He was grumpy.

Instead of flying to Augusta National for the Masters this week, he was home in Florida, where the only competition for a green jacket was a putting contest with his 11-year-old son, Charlie.

“I felt energetic, I felt really alive and wired and kind of irritable, and I didn’t know what was going on,” Woods said in an interview with GolfTV made available Thursday. “And I realized it was Sunday morning. … And my body, subconsciously, I knew I was supposed to be getting ready to leave and start playing the Masters.

“My body was ready, and I didn’t know why I was acting that way,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

The interview recorded Wednesday with Henni Zuel of GolfTV — Woods has an endorsement deal with the Discovery-owned channel — was his first since the final round of the Genesis Invitational in February. Woods chose not to play the next four tournaments because his back was not ready. And then golf was shut down along with other sports by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has been at home with his two children and girlfriend, riding bikes for exercise, occasionally playing golf at The Medalist Club and having putting contests with Charlie, with the green jacket going to the winner.

That’s another reminder of these times. This will be the longest a Masters champion has been able to keep golf’s most famous piece of clothing at home. Woods is not required to leave it in his locker at Augusta National until he returns to defend. And that won’t be until November at the earliest.

“This is not the way that I would’ve wanted to keep the jacket for a longer period of time,” Woods said. “I wanted to get out there and compete for it and earn it again, like I did in ’02. But it’s not a normal circumstance, it’s not a normal world. It’s a very fluid environment and it’s very different for all of us. Fortunately, we potentially could have a Masters in November and play it then. I guess I’ll be defending then and hopefully that all comes about.”

In the meantime, he started playing for the jacket with Charlie at the start of the year, wanting to take advantage while the jacket was at home.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to defend, I don’t know if I’ll be able to win again, but let’s just take a moment to have a little fun with it,” Woods said. “Occasionally, it’s gone into his closet. Primarily, it’s stayed in mine. But the fact he’s been able to earn it off me — because there are no wins that are given in this family — it’s been fun to see him tease me about beating me and being able to wear the jacket and have it in his closet where he says it belongs.”

Woods would rather let 95 other players try to take it over 72 holes at Augusta National.

That will have to wait.

The time off has been helpful in one regard. Woods, who won the ZoZo Championship in Japan late last year for his record-tying 82nd victory on the PGA Tour, was off to a slow start this year. He didn’t seriously contend at Torrey Pines and finished last at Riviera. And then he shut it down, his back not feeling quite right as he resumes his career following four surgeries, the last one to fuse his lower spine.

“Night and day,” he said about the difference in how he feels from the last time he played on Feb. 16 in Los Angeles. “I feel a lot better than I did then. I’ve been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at.”

He still struggles to think about what he should be doing this week: a flight to Augusta on Sunday to practice and help hand out trophies in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals; the noise and bustle of practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday, the Masters Club dinner on Tuesday night for only champions, the Par 3 Tournament with his kids as caddies on Wednesday, and then quiet of the eve of the Masters as he tries to build toward the final round of his favourite tournament.

He stuck to one tradition — the Champions Dinner.

Woods tweeted a photo of him having his dinner Tuesday night, wearing the green jacket, with his girlfriend and children and food that he wants on the menu — steak and chicken fajitas, sushi and sashimi, milkshakes. Also on the table were cupcakes.

Whenever he gets around to hosting the real dinner at Augusta National, it probably won’t end the same way.

There was a food fight at home.

“It got a little bit interesting at the end, a little ugly, where icing was flowing across people’s hair and face, and so we had a little bit of fun at the end,” Woods said. “I did take the jacket off. This jacket cannot get any cupcake on it.”

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Young, Paul to headline H-O-R-S-E field starting Sunday on TSN – TSN



Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks will headline the field of NBA, WNBA and NBA alumni in a H-O-R-S-E challenge beginning Sunday night on TSN.

Catch it beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on TSN2,, the TSN App and on TSN Direct.

Other members of the field include former WNBA star and Naismith Hall-of-Famer Tamika Catchings, WNBA All-Star Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky, Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls, Mike Conley of the Utah Jazz as well as retired stars Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups.

ESPN’s Mark Jones will serve as the event’s host.

The challenge will be held in tournament format, with the quarter-final round happening this Sunday and the semifinal and final round taking place the following Thursday.

Sunday’s quarter-finals will see Young take on Billups, Catchings face Conley, LaVine against Pierce, and, finally, Paul match up with Quigley.

State Farm will donate more than $200,000 on behalf of the participants to charities focused on coronavirus relief efforts.

Here is the complete broadcast schedule for the tournament.

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Report: Paul, Young headline HORSE field – TSN



The NBA and ESPN’s plan to televise a HORSE competition is nearing completion according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Among those expected to participate are Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. Wojnarowski adds the competition will include a couple of WNBA players and recent NBA alumni.

More to come. 

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