Olympics / Winter Olympics

Sapporo mayor meets with IOC chief Thomas Bach about bid to host 2030 Winter Olympics

Kyodo

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto met with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Lausanne on Saturday to discuss the city’s proposed bid to host the 2030 Winter Games.

The host city for the 1972 Games, Sapporo confirmed its intention to bid for the multisport event for a second time last month.

Officials in the city on the northern island of Hokkaido hope its role hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympic marathon will strengthen its 2030 bid.

Akimoto said he received positive feedback from Bach at the meeting, which was also attended by Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto and Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita, who was elected to the IOC the previous day.

“President Bach spoke favorably (of the bid). Together with the JOC, I want to proceed to the dialogue stage with the IOC,” Akimoto said.

Bach said it was still too early to determine the host city, but said he had been impressed by the mayor’s presentation.

The Japanese Olympic Committee had initially wanted Sapporo to host the 2026 Winter Games, but the city had preferred to bid for 2030. A large earthquake in September 2018, however, put 2026 out of the question.