Rothesay — On Friday, July 22, chairman of the Canadian Olympic Committee Fabian Grenier bowed to pressure from the International Olympic Committee and announced that all Olympians “from New Brunswick or (who) have passed through the area in the within 3 months are hereby banned from participating in the 2016 Olympics and must be quarantined until the games are over.”
When asked where the athletes, who number 25, will be quarantined, Grenier squinted then began combing through his stack of papers. “Oh here it is — New Brunswick. As long they stay in New Brunswick… one of the places they have in that province or whatever, they should be fine.”
The Manatee managed to reach 3 of the athletes who are holed up in the Kennebecasis Rowing Club in Rothesay. Sarah Templeton was set to compete in two kayaking events in the games before being quietly informed of the decision on Monday.
“It’s insane,” she said. “It’s ignorant. Here we have an Olympics where Canadians are bowing out ’cause of this Zika thing–” While Templeton was speaking, Simon Carver, another Olympic kayaker, strolled up behind her, sat down and began rooting through her hair. Occasionally he would find a tick, smile, and quickly put it in his mouth. “–Anyways,” Templeton went on, “I think this whole thing is just a mess and just goes to show how little people know or care about New Brunswick.”
Before the end of the press conference, Fabian Grenier defended his decision as “tough but safe.”
“I know you’re thinking like: ‘Uh, shouldn’t we be more concerned about the mosquitos carrying Zika, and yeah sure I get that. But listen, they say these deer ticks live in tall grass… I was in New Brunswick once in the ’90s — the whole place is tall grass.”
Despite having their dreams crushed, the athletes at the Kennebecasis Rowing Club were in good spirits. Sitting one behind the other, grooming, they managed to share some of their trademark New Brunswick optimism: “Don’t worry about us!” Carver quipped. “We have ice in our veins. And pending some test results, we probably don’t have Lyme disease in our veins… so just the ice, and the regular blood-stuff.”