No fans allowed at Canada's figure skating championships due to COVID-19 concerns

Canada's Nam Nguyen performs his free program in the men's competition at Skate Canada International in Kelowna, B.C. on Saturday, October 26, 2019 (Paul Chiasson/CP).

OTTAWA -- Canada's figure skating championships will have no fans in attendance as the national sports organization adapts to surging COVID-19 numbers.

Skate Canada said on Thursday all purchased tickets for the event at Ottawa's TD Place Arena for Jan. 6-13 will be refunded. This change aligns with the Ontario government's decision to limit attendance at sporting and other event venues.

"The health and safety of all participants in the championships are of paramount importance. We understand this is disappointing for our fans and stakeholders," said Skate Canada president Karen Butcher and CEO Debra Armstrong in a joint statement.

"However, our priority is to preserve the competitions necessary for the selection of teams for the Olympic Winter Games and ISU Championship events."

The governing body said that the senior event will go on as planned but that gala on Jan. 9 has been cancelled.

However, the junior event will have its schedule altered and the novice event has been postponed.

Media are no longer being allowed to attend in person and, instead, will conduct interviews virtually.

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