Olympics

Thomas Bach says IOC ready to talk 2030 bid with Sapporo

Changes to the Olympic election process announced by the IOC on Wednesday are likely to impact Sapporo’s prospective 2030 Winter Games bid.

Speaking at a news conference on the final day of the three-day IOC Session, IOC President Thomas Bach said his organization is willing to open dialogue with any potential bidder which expresses interest and that Sapporo “has our telephone number.”

Sapporo, which withdraw its bid for the 2026 Games after an earthquake in September 2018, will have to contend with different rules for its next attempt.

If signed off, the changes will see flexible timelines, more dialogue and permission for bids to encompass multiple cities. Also, the requirement for the host city to be elected seven years in advance will be removed from the Olympic charter.

The changes are aimed at making the process of winning an Olympic Games more attractive and, therefore, increasing the number of bids launched.

The updated rules could come into force in time for the process select the host for the 2030 Games.

Bach said the changes represent an “evolution” of his Agenda 2020 “revolution.”

Tokyo has been awarded the Summer Games twice — 1964 and 2020 — and the Japanese capital will be the first city in Asia to host the Olympics twice. Sapporo hosted the Winter Games in 1972.

Paris got the 2024 Games, Los Angeles the 2028 Olympics and Italy’s joint bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo was this week announced as the winner of the 2026 Games.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5