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IOC Sets New Candidature Approach for 2026 Winter Olympics

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Fireworks explode during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony Sunday, Feb 24, 2002 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Photo: Deseret News

The IOC has announced a new approach to the Candidature Process for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, based on increased flexibility and an in-depth dialogue with the IOC and the Olympic Movement. “It has been reformed and redesigned to enable cities and NOCs to have even more sustainable, feasible and cost-effective Olympic Winter Games, and to align with their local, regional and national long-term development goals,” the IOC explains in a press release, also stating that the 2026 Host City Contract will include an IOC contribution to the success of the Games estimated at 925 million US$, based on contributions related to broadcast and TOP program revenues; host broadcasting and services provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services and transfer of knowledge activities.

In line with Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, the new Candidature Process is based on increased flexibility and an in-depth dialogue with the IOC and the Olympic Movement. It has been reformed and redesigned to enable cities and NOCs to have even more sustainable, feasible and cost-effective Olympic Winter Games, and to align with their local, regional and national long-term development goals.

A two-stage approach

The Candidature Process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 ensures a reduction in the workload for the candidates by requiring fewer deliverables, and comprises two stages:

  • A new, one-year non-committal Dialogue Stage (October 2017 to October 2018) that will provide Interested Cities and NOCs with an opportunity to engage in a collaboration with the IOC to assess the benefits and requirements related to hosting the Games. Cities will not be required to submit any formal proposals and guarantees, or make any presentations. The IOC and Olympic Movement will take a more proactive role in assisting and supporting them well before any commitments are made, by sending teams of technical experts to help develop their candidature. The cost of this assistance provided to all Cities will be covered by the IOC. In October 2018, the IOC Session, upon recommendation of the Executive Board, will invite a number of Interested Cities to participate in the Candidature Stage.
  • A shortened formal Candidature Stage (October 2018 to September 2019) with streamlined procedures enabling those selected Candidate Cities to work closely with the IOC to ensure the best possible Games delivery and long-term legacy plans. Candidates will be asked to submit a single Candidature File, due in January 2019, and the number of questions in the questionnaire has been reduced by one third.

Stronger IOC support

The Host City Contract 2026 will be published in July 2018, and will include an IOC contribution to the success of the Games estimated at USD 925 million, based on contributions related to broadcast and TOP program revenues; host broadcasting and services provided by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS); and transfer of knowledge activities.

The new process for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 builds on the recommendations of the Olympic Winter Games Strategic Working Group, composed of IOC Members, representatives from the seven Winter International Federations, National Olympic Committees, winter-sport Olympians, TOP Partners, the IOC administration and experts. The Working Group conducted a review of the Olympic Winter Games by focusing on their uniqueness and specificity, and paid particular attention to issues related to sustainability, legacy and the process of applying for and hosting the Games.

To better support Games organizers, the IOC’s “Games Management 2020” initiative has been established to identify ways to further reduce the cost and complexity of hosting the Olympic Winter Games. This set of measures will help Organizing Committees, from the very start of the project and through their entire lifecycle, to streamline their planning, make better use of IF and NOC technical expertise, improve venue planning and adapt service levels to their actual needs and use.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.

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