Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

International Olympic Committee reveals seven contenders for 2026 Winter Games bid

International Olympic Committee reveals seven contenders for 2026 Winter Games bid

The IOC is touting that as the catalyst for a group of seven National Olympic Committees it announced today as officially interested in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics.

There is considerable Olympic experience in the field with Calgary having hosted the 1988 Winter Games and Sapporo having staged the 1972 edition. Sapporo, Cortina d'Ampezzo and Turin have all hosted the Olympics before. Interested candidates must then submit a formal bid proposal by January and a host city will be selected by the IOC Session in September 2019.

Under the new dialogue stage, the International Olympic Committee will provide the 2026 bidding cities and their NOCs with greater support, technical advice, communications assistance and materials than ever before "to develop the best possible candidature".

Swiss Olympic Association (Sion) and Turkish Olympic Committee (Erzurum) are the candidates in the fray for the rights to host the 2026 Winter Games.

"You start from incredible assets and a lot of strength in Canada", said Christophe Dubi in a conference call from Lausanne, Switzerland Tuesday.

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Dubi said it's important for Calgary to make sure that any budget put forward is strong and down to the last detail.

Thomas Bach says the IOC has "turned the page" on Olympic candidatures after trouble-hit bidding processes for the 2022 and 2024 Games.

The IOC has also simplified the seven-year preparation for Games organizers, reducing costs, upping the IOC's contribution and allowing host cities more flexibility in planning for the Olympics and the post-Games use of facilities.

But he said those involved must be realistic when working out the numbers. Innsbruck exited the 2026 race last year after losing a referendum, and several other Summer and Winter bids in the past few years have fallen victim to the same.

The IOC also hinted that others were "already considering 2030 and beyond, including the United States Olympic Committee".

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