Pandemic Leads to Cancellation of Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and du lac Mégantic
Courtesy of Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean and Swimming Canada.
Swimming Canada will not host the 10 km FINA Marathon Swim World Series race on July 25th or the 32 km FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series race (66th Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean) on July 31st in lac St-Jean, Québec, or the 10 km point-to-point FINA Marathon Swim World Series race on August 7th in lac Mégantic, Québec. The decisions were made in consultation with the local organizing committees and Fédération de natation du Québec.
“Given the current state of the global pandemic, that Canada has restrictions on non-essential travel, and the uncertainties around borders and quarantine protocols, Swimming Canada will not be sanctioning international FINA events this year,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi. “Our Olympic and Paralympic Trials event set for Toronto this year at the end of May is still in place, however, we must be responsive to the current health situation in the country as we lead up to the event.”
“As an organization, we have to put health and safety first. While these are difficult decisions, I am confident it is the right decision to not expose our promising young swimmers to international travel this year, or to encourage swimmers from other countries to travel to Canada for events,” added President Cheryl Gibson.
Olivier Levesque, President of the Traversée, was not surprised by this news, “We were expecting it, since the International Olympic Committee decided to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021. In our hearts, we couldn’t imagine that this news would fall. Our organization is currently experiencing an improbable situation, no one was expecting that one day, our great Traversée would not be presented and that no swimmer would touch the finish plate. I have a special thought for all those who gravitate around those competitions, specially our volunteers.”
However, the cancellation of the 32 km cross-lake professional marathon swim is separate from the provincial competitions of the Traversée (i.e., 1 km, 2 km, 5 km and 10 km Uniprix and the Rio Tinto Youth Marathon that are sanctioned by the Fédération de natation du Québec (Quebec Swimming Federation). The participants are also hopeful that the annual dinner held in the streets Loto-Québec, and other sporting and cultural activities will continue as planned and will not be similarly cancelled due to the pandemic.
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