The women’s world curling championship has joined the long list of sporting events postponed in the wake of the coronavirus. The event was set to start Saturday in Prince George, B.C.
“I’m absolutely confident, along with our partners from the WCF, that we’ve made the right decision,” said Katherine Henderson, the CEO of Curling Canada, in a conference call.
Henderson said that prior to the decision, the stakeholders considered a number of options including holding the event without any fans in attendance. But the sheer number of people needed to run the championship wouldn’t allow it.
“There were too many people we’d potentially be putting at risk,” she stated, pointing to coaches, officials and members of the television broadcast crew.
World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness said the decision came after consulting health officials including B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and minister of health Adrian Dix.
“The safety of our athletes, officials, staff and supporters is paramount which we cannot guarantee with the fast-evolving nature of this worldwide situation,” she said in a statement.
Henderson added that there is no plan at the moment to re-schedule the event but that a decision would be made at a later time. Right now, the situation is moving too quickly for anything concrete.
The Canadian team, skipped by Kerri Einerson, posted a statement on its Facebook page expressing the frustration of not having the chance to play for Canada.
“Team Canada is extremely disappointed with the news that the 2020 World Women’s Curling Championship has been cancelled. We respect the decision made today and understand that the health and safety of all is the most important thing.”
In addition to the women’s world championship, a number of other events have been postponed. The 2020 Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships and Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship are all on hold.