Surge of COVID Cases Leads to Cancellation of Can Am Para Swimming Open

Photo Courtesy: Vaughn Ridley/Swimming Canada

Swimming Canada Wednesday announced it is cancelling the Speedo Can Am Para Swimming Open, scheduled for Dec. 11-13 in Vancouver. The organization cited “a significant surge in COVID-19 cases across much of Canada, and revised health directives” in the decision.

The meet, held at the University of British Columbia Aquatic Center and hosted in conjunction with U.S. Para Swimming, is designed to draw elite para swimmers from across the globe. But the COVID-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions will likely preclude that from happening. Swimming Canada considered holding, “a domestic event and associated Tokyo Re-Launch Camp for select Paralympic program swimmers,” but opted against it.

“This was not an easy decision for any of us,” Associate High Performance Director and National Para Swimming Coach Wayne Lomas said in a press release. “The numbers are rising in some provinces, and our medical experts advised that we would not be able to conduct the camp or the meet safely.”

“This was a difficult decision to make, but in light of all the information we have received, and the increased numbers across the country, we decided it is in the best interests of our swimmers, coaches, volunteers and officials,” Senior Manager of Sport Development Jocelyn Jay said. “I would like to thank the local organizing committee, Swim BC, UBC staff, and the volunteers and officials for working with us over the last several months to prepare for the competition.”

The Can Am Para Swimming Open was the last event on the Swimming Canada calendar with an undetermined status for 2020. The organization now looks toward the events of 2021, which begin with the Speedo Eastern and Western Championships, to commence at dates to be determined in March. It continues to work with relevant national and regional governments and health bodies to develop a return to competition pathway.

“We encourage everyone in the Canadian swimming community to stay vigilant, and keep following health and safety protocols,” Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi said. “By all doing our part, we can ensure swimming continues to be a safe sport.”

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