British Columbia Sun

Travel constraints among Omicron variant force repeal of Winter Universiade

Key takeaways: 

  • Canadian women’s junior field hockey side expects flying home from South Africa. 
  • Canada was ready to assign a team of 102 student-athletes to the 2021 Games, in nine sides over seven sports. 

Omicron variant fears result in travel restrictions for Winter Universiade: 

Almost 100 Canadian university players playing in the Winter Universiade were days off from boarding their flights to Switzerland.

The curling teams were listed to travel first, following this week. The hockey teams were next.

But the result of the new COVID-19 variant is being considered in sports, and on Monday morning, the Winter Universiade, which highlights the top university players from almost 50 countries, was called off less than two weeks ere the Games in Lucerne were recorded to open.

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“It’s the largest multi-sport games for students in the world, second largest multi-sport organization to the Olympics, so it’s pretty devastating,” stated Lisette Johnson-Stapley, U Sports’ chief sport officer. “My heart goes out to all the student-athletes, and the coaches who have been working so hard.” Source –

Canada was to give 102 student-athletes, in nine teams over seven sports, to the Universiade, which was fixed to open Dec. 11. The Canadian contingent, including trainers and mission staff members, counted 144. 

Johnson-Stapley answered each participant got the sad news via an early-morning email Monday from the Lucerne organizing committee.

“We understand the difficult decision to cancel such a prestigious and important event,” Johnson-Stapley stated. “The health and safety of all participants is our primary concern.” Source –

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