International Olympic Committee says 7 countries interested in hosting 2026 Winter Olympics


Abuja - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday announced that seven National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have expressed official interest in hosting the Olympic Winter Games 2026.

Erzurum submitted its interest in hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games alongside Graz in Austria, Calgary in Canada, Cortina/Milan/Turin in Italy, Sapporo in Japan, Stockholm in Sweden and Sion in Switzerland. "Our goal is not just to have a record number of candidates, but ultimately it is to select the best city to stage the best Olympic Winter Games for the best athletes of the world", said IOC President Thomas Bach.

There is considerable Olympic experience in the field with Calgary having hosted the 1988 Winter Games and Sapporo having staged the 1972 edition. Cortina is also a former host, having organised the 1956 Winter Olympics as is Turin in 2006.

The vote is scheduled for September 2019.

The IOC was forced into a revamp of its Olympic bid procedures after a series of drop-outs tarnished the last two contests.

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With only two cities left interested in the 2024 Olympics, the IOC awarded Paris those hosting duties and also promised 2028 to Los Angeles, setting up hosts for the next decade before more bids could be torpedoed by the potential host cities themselves. Further, an included quote from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti mentioned "so many incredible cities have come forward to compete for the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 and 2030".

The federal and Alberta governments say they will support the formation of a bid corporation but the province says the idea should be put to voters in a plebiscite first.

"What we are looking after is intelligent projects", he said.

"If there is a public consultation, it has to welcomed".

"What it takes now is to make sure that the budgets that are being presented are extremely strong, down to the very last detail".