ATR First: No Joint Winter Olympics Award

(ATR) IOC president tells Around the Rings it's not possible for a replay of the Paris - Los Angeles pairing ... Subscribers only! 

(ATR) IOC President Thomas Bach rules out awarding the next two Winter Olympic Games at the the same time.

Even though only two 2026 candidates remain standing – Milan/Cortina and Stockholm – the IOC president said there would be no process similar to the one that gave Paris the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles the 2028 Games.

"I don’t think that this is possible because we have a number of interested cities and NOCs already for 2030," he told Around the Rings.

"You would need to give all of them a fair chance," he says.

The lineup might include Sapporo, Japan, the 1972 Olympic host city which withdrew from the running for 2026; Almaty, Kazakhstan, which narrowly lost the race for the 2022 Games to Beijing; and the U.S. cities of Salt Lake City and Denver are among those expressing interest in 2030. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Games while Denver was awarded the 1976 Games, then had to give them back to the IOC after Colorado citizens voted against the Olympics in a referendum. The USOC is supposed to decide between the two in two weeks,

During his remarks to media following the IOC Executive Board meeting in Tokyo, Bach praised the bids from Sweden (also including Sigulda, Latvia) and Italy as "back to the roots."

"They are two traditional winter sports counties who have in the last years organizedhundreds of World Cups and who have both organized a number of World Championships in winter sports," he said.

Bach said the candidate cities embody the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020, including the "new norm." The budgets for each bid demonstrate a decrease of 75 percent from the average budgets for the 2018 and 2022 candidate cities, he said.

The IOC president also said that in regard to the proposed venues, the cities are reducing their investment while increasing sustainability.

"They plan to use 80 percent of existing or temporary facilities," Bach said, "which is an increase of 33 percent compared to the projects in 2018 and 2022."

Milan/Cortina and Stockholm presented to more than 1,300 ANOC General Assembly delegates last week, the first of two international presentations allowed the bid cities under IOC rules.

ATR has heard that the two candidate cities would rather ditch the venue planned for the second and final pitch, Gold Coast, Australia, next April. The IOC has okayed the cities to present at the Sport Accord Convention but only to the seven Winter Olympic sport federations, not the 1500+ delegates who make the journey down under.

Meaning no disrespect to the federations, both Stockholm and Milan-Cortina are said to be agitating to find a more suitable venue to present to the winter sports. Both object to the cost and time required to travel to Australia for just a few minutes before a tiny group, regardless of their influence in selecting the eventual nominee by the IOC next June.

Written by Karen Rosen in Tokyo, Japan.

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