The Canada Summer Games opening ceremony in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday, July 28, 2017. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games have been postponed until 2022. (The Canadian Press/John Woods)

Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games postponed until 2022

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the safety of all athletes, coaches, staff, volunteers and spectators, the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games have been postponed until 2022.

According to an announcement on Wednesday by Canada Games Council (CGC) and 2021 Canada Games Host Society, the decision was made after consulting with the Niagara region, the province of Ontario and the federal government. 

The games were originally scheduled to take place in August of 2021.

“All of our athletes, coaches and volunteers are top of mind for us in deciding to postpone the Games. No doubt this decision will be disappointing for those who have been training and preparing for the 2021 Games, but we hope to find their understanding and support.” Evan Johnston, Chair of the Canada Games Council Board

The Canada Games are held every two years, alternating between winter and summer, and represent the highest level of national competition for up and coming Canadian athletes. They have been hosted in every province at least once since it began in Quebec City during Canada’s Centennial in 1967. 

Over 5,000 young athletes and 4,000 volunteers are expected to participate in the Summer Canada Games when it comes to the Niagara region. 

“Postponing the Games certainly wasn’t an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly, but we felt it was the right choice to make,” said Doug Hamilton, the chair of the 2021 Canada Games Host Society. 

The CGC said that the COVID-19 pandemic was likely going to prevent them from delivering a “phenomenal Games experience” in terms of sports competitions and cultural events. 

According to the press release, no decision has been made yet on the new dates for the Canada Summer Games, but the CGC and the Niagara Host Society are looking to have the games take place during the summer of 2022. 

“By delaying the Games to the summer of 2022, we hope to give Games participants a greater opportunity to maximize their experience, while also ensuring that Niagara can realize the full potential of hosting Canada’s largest multi-sport event,” Hamilton said.

In a statement released on Thursday, Ontario Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries Lisa MacLeod said that the government supports the decision to postpone the Niagara 2021 Summer Games.

“We believe that this postponement will ensure the health and safety of all of the Games participants, the Niagara community and visitors from across the country, while working towards a successful Games experience in 2022,” MacLeod said. 

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