LAUSANNE, Switzerland (CelebrityAccess) — The International Olympic Committee announced that seven different National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have thrown their hats into the ring in a bid to host the Winter Games in 2026.
The seven organizations seeking to host the Olympics are spread across three different continents and include:
Austrian Olympic Committee (Graz)
Canadian Olympic Committee (Calgary)
Italian Olympic Committee (Cortina d’Ampezzo/Milan/Turin)
Japanese Olympic Committee (Sapporo)
Swedish Olympic Committee (Stockholm)
Swiss Olympic Association (Sion)
Turkish Olympic Committee (Erzurum)
These interested cities and NOCs will next move into the ‘dialogue phase’ of the selection process, which allows the IOC to begin initial vetting for potential host cities and to provide guidance, technical advice, communication assistance, and materials to facilitate bids.
This year marks the first foray by the IOC for their ‘New Norm’ program, which they tout as allowing potential host cities to design more cost-efficient plans that aid in the long-term development goals of a region. In the past, the Olympics have been criticized for encouraging host cities, many of which are facing significant financial challenges, to make enormous investments in sporting venues that have little practical use beyond the Olympics.
This was most recently on display in Brazil when Rio hosted the 2016 Summer Games. Rio, which is faced with stark economic equality, spent an estimated $13.1 billion, with many of the touted infrastructure projects, such as a subway line connecting tourist areas with the Olympic Park primarily benefiting wealthier areas of the city. At the same time, Rio’s government was reported to have been months behind in paying teachers and pensioners.
Subsequent plans for Rio to auction off Olympic venues after the games failed when only one bidder was reported to be interested.