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Grand Prix, sport and consistency in times of a pandemic

Grand Prix, sport and consistency in times of a pandemic

Do you remember going back to school? The Ministry of Education banned student-athletes from practicing their sport while their classmates in civilian programs could continue playing as if nothing had happened. The direction was so inconsistent that even the chiefs revolted.

A few weeks later, before the NHL camps opened, public health in Quebec Canada banned the opening of its gymnasium in order to allow its players to train in safe conditions. So the organization’s hopes were training in its backyard with the available means.

But at the same time, all over Quebec, students attending sport study programs have been training in gyms with the same public health approval, arguing that they belong to the same bubble class. Shea Weber was not allowed to train alone in the gym, but 20 fourth graders could do it together without any problem.

A few weeks ago, at the dawn of the third wave, we reopened gyms for all residents! To better close it off the moment the disaster strikes the Mega Gym in Quebec.


All of Quebec’s junior hockey player was paralyzed throughout the winter because science has clearly shown that proximity to this hockey requires an increased risk of spreading COVID-19.

But the league, QMJHL, without knowing how, got the green light from public health to start its season, even if the league was not able to isolate its players or test them daily. By relying on the principle of the famous bubble classes, there would be no problem with public health.

The lesson was harsh. QMJHL promptly faced a major outbreak. The association strengthened its protocols and changed its practices, but that didn’t stop the fact that in recent days, 24 members of Gatineau Olympiques and 7 members of Quebec Remparts tested positive for COVID-19. We are talking about players who live with host families. These outbreaks came on top of those that occurred in Plainville – Boabriand, Sherbrooke, Victoriaville and Drummondville earlier this season.

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One could argue that these outbreaks were subsidized by the Quebec government, which paid Quebec teams $ 18 million to QMJHL to compensate for lost sponsorship and ticket sales during this disputed season behind closed doors.


This government found itself in great trouble in recent days when the Formula 1 group, which owns F1, requested an additional 6 million aid to offset lost ticket sales and catering revenues from Quebec promoter François Dumontier.

If the Grand Prix is ​​held behind closed doors, there is a fee to be paid, and the promoter does not have to pay. Is it the government of Quebec? This is a very important political question. You must be careful not to spend money unnecessarily, and at the same time, you do not want to lose the Grand PrixThe Minister of the Economy of Quebec, Pierre Fitzgibbon, explained.

National Public Health Director Horacio Arruda said it would be possible to organize a safe Grand Prix by hosting 1,600 team employees, FIA representatives and media representatives arriving directly from the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan without having to respect the quarantine imposed on everyone. However, Public Health in Montreal issued the opposite opinion, as if the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. As if we can amend public health instructions on the client’s head.

This astonishing situation means Quebec is awaiting the federal public health arbitration to see what will happen to the Grand Prix in Canada. But given that federal public health has been so consistent in similar circumstances (with the MLB, NBA and NHL, in particular), one can bet big sums that there will be no Grand Prix in Montreal this year.

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It is a strange weekend, also marked by the affirmation of instructions requiring golfers and tennis players, in particular, to wear a mask when practicing their sport outside. The decision sowed anger and lack of understanding among the population and increased the likelihood of a massive insurgency.

Thankfully, these instructions were rescinded after 24 hours by the prime minister.

Over the past year or so, my inbox has been constantly populated by parents, coaches, and educators who have been dazed or frustrated with situations or directions that at times seemed completely inconsistent with one another. And this is in many disciplines.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to put the toothpaste back into the tube. What happened has happened.

All that remains is to hope to complete the vaccination campaign as quickly as possible so that we can move on to something else.