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  • Norway Not Ruling Out 2026 Winter Olympic Bid


    04/28/15

    (ATR) After Oslo’s disastrous 2022 bid, IOC member Gerhard Heiberg tells Around the Rings that Norway may run again for the Winter Olympics after all.
      
    Considered a favorite for the 2022 Games, Oslo crashed out of the race after failing to secure Norwegian government support amid concerns over the costs of the Games and IOC demands placed on Olympic hosts. It left Almaty and Beijing to scrap it out for victory; the IOC vote comes July 31.
      
    Oslo may return with a 2026 Olympic bid after all. (Getty Images)
    In December, on the sidelines of the IOC Session in Monaco, Heiberg told ATR that Oslo’s 2022 demise had wrecked any chance of the city returning with a tilt at the 2026 Games: “I think it’s gone for many, many years for Oslo. We had our big internal fights and we will not be back for 2026.”
      
    But the former IOC marketing chief is now hinting at an Oslo comeback.
      
    “We are all of the opinion that first we have to organize the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games in February 2016,” he told ATR.
      
    “After that, we can discuss whether we should participate in the competition for 2026 Winter Games.”
      
    An IOC inspection team is midway through its four-day checkup of Lillehammer’s preparations for next year’s YOG. There are less than 300 days to go until the opening ceremony.
      
    Heiberg’s comments to ATR come a few days after the Swedish NOC president Stefan Lindeberg said the country’s sports chiefs were considering studying a potential bid from Stockholm for the 2026 Games.
      
    Stockholm was also one of a group of cities to withdraw from the race for the 2022 Olympics due to a lack of financial guarantees.
      
    IOC president Thomas Bach, who came under fire for 2022 bidding debacle, will be buoyed that NOCs who quit that contest have been fired up by the revamped bid procedure in Agenda 2020 reforms and are already thinking about potential bids for the 2026 Games.
      
    Bidding applications are not due with the IOC until 2017.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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