Athletics Canada announced today that it has received a favourable opinion from Provincial and Municipal Heath Authorities to stage a modified 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by Bell at Claude Robillard Sports Complex from June 24 to 27.
The Olympic and Paralympic Trials are an important step along an athlete’s journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and a driving factor in the favourable endorsement received by Athletics Canada. Over the past year, the organization has worked tirelessly to create a safe environment for these athletes who have trained, competed and prepared for the unique opportunity to represent our country on the world’s greatest stage in sports. For some, this year’s Trials will be their first opportunity to compete in their discipline since the pandemic began, for others it might represent their final chance to don the Maple Leaf and live out their Olympic/Paralympic dream.
Athletics Canada created a detailed plan of health and safety measures that will be implemented to ensure a safe environment for athletes, coaches, officials and support personnel. The plan was approved based on the following elements:
- A controlled environment for athletes coming from outside of Quebec as approved by the Direction Générale de la santé publique du Québec (DGSP).
- The health and safety restrictions and protocols that will be in place, including but not limited to the following:
- Pre-event data collection, daily assessments and communications regarding COVID-19 restrictions and protocols.
- Seven-day community isolation at-home prior to travel for all persons involved or participating in the event; athletes can still train.
- A negative PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival in Montreal.
- Rapid COVID-19 testing upon arrival in Montreal.
- Creation of a COVID-19 Guidance and Hygiene Team.
- Social distancing measures and modifications to traffic flow throughout the stadium.
- The ability to contact trace and communicate with all participants post-event.
- The competition program will be limited to events with Olympic or Paralympic qualification implications.
Another significant modification to Athletics Canada’s Trials format is who will have access to the event site. Athlete participation will be on an invitation basis, including limited access to personal and national team coaches, while staffing will be reduced to the minimum persons required to deliver the event safely and effectively. Athlete invitations to the event are expected to be made starting May 27.
The Claude Robillard track and field facility will be closed to all spectators, including members of the media. Athletics Canada and the local organizing committee are working diligently to create a plan to ensure fans across Canada have access to live results, a live stream of the event via AthleticsCanada.tv, interviews and more.
Members of the media who plan on covering the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Trials presented by Bell are strongly encouraged to complete a media accreditation form that will give access to important updates, results, photos, videos, interviews and more as a remote journalist before, during and after the event.
Athletics Canada and Fédération Québécoise d’athlétisme reserve the right to change, alter or modify the format of the Olympic and Paralympic Trials based on evolving restrictions and public health measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of athletes, coaches, officials and support personnel will be at the forefront of every decision that is made regarding this event.
Highlights and implications of a modified Trials format are available at www.athletics.ca/trials2021, while event-related updates and information will also be posted in the same location as they become available.