Coming world championships in Canadian cities have so far avoided cancellation, but the new coronavirus is laying waste to other championships around the world and affecting Canadian athletes.
This month’s world figure skating championship in Montreal, the women’s curling championship in Prince George and the women’s hockey championship in Halifax and Truro, N.S., are still a go for now.
The coronavirus has been reported in more than 60 countries, infected more than 80,000 people and caused almost 3,000 deaths, according to The Associated Press.
The International Ice Hockey Federation confirmed Monday the women’s tournament March 31 to April 10 in Nova Scotia is proceeding while cancelling six lower-tiered world championships this spring “due to the coronavirus situation.”
Also Monday, the International Skating Union called off the world short-track speed skating championship scheduled for March 13-15 in Seoul.
“All other ISU Events for the season 2019-20 remain scheduled as planned,” the ISU said on its website, so the world figure skating championship March 16-22 at the Bell Centre is so far unscathed.
The ISU may still hold the short-track event in 2020, “but in any case not before mid-October 2020.” So Canadian speed skaters and those around the world are in limbo as to whether they’ll compete in a world championship this year.
“While the cancellation of this season’s most important short track competition is disappointing for our team, we believe the ISU made the right decision, one that protects the health and well-being of all participants, including the skaters,” Speed Skating Canada said Monday in a statement.
Kerri Einarson’s team will represent Canada and join a dozen other countries March 14-22 at the world curling championship in Prince George.
“Currently, the World Health Organization does not recommend any travel or trade restrictions that would impact on our events,” the World Curling Federation said in a statement.
The IIHF has axed men’s Division 2-4 under-18 tournaments in Estonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Luxembourg, as well as Division 1 and 2 women’s world championships in Poland and Spain.