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  • Olympic Leaders Creating Bid "Roadmap" for 2026 Winter Games


    (ATR) After a Winter Olympic bid race that saw five cities drop out, a working group will reexamine the 2026 bid system.

    The race for the 2022 Olympics was marked by a lack of strong candidates, leaving the IOC to choose between Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing. Voters and governments in XXX, all rejected a Winter Olympic bid, saying it cost too much to stage the Games.

    On Nov. 12, in the backdrop of the annual International Federations Forum in Lausanne, IOC leaders met with AIOWF, the umbrella body for Winter Olympic federations.

    According to a statement released by AIOWF, the focus of the meeting was not the issues that plagued the 2022 bid race. Instead, the Olympic leaders discussed how to apply Olympic Agenda 2020 "in the context of candidates for the Games in 2026."

    To do so, the IOC and Winter IFs decided to create a working group to map out goals for potential 2026 bids. 

    Perhaps alluding to the concerns of voters worldwide, Gian Franco Kasper, president of AWIOF said, "the opportunities presented through Olympic Agenda 2020 offer greater flexibility for staging the Games.

    "This aligns with the vision of the International Federations to focus on sustainable solutions and the legacy aspects so that the Games are a highly attractive proposition for a great number of nations, regions and cities."

    IOC chief Thomas Bach (left) and AIOWF president Gian Franco Kasper (Getty Images)
    Olympic stakeholders will have their first opportunity to weigh in on the working group's ideas in Feb. 2016. After consulting with other members of the IOC and International Federations, the working group will draft a report. 

    IOC President Thomas Bach underlined his satisfaction with the results of the meeting with the Winter IFs, saying, "It is of utmost importance that they contribute with their knowledge and expertise of the organization and delivery of Olympic Winter Games.

    "The recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 will serve as the framework for this specialist working group, which will report to the IOC Session in Rio next year."

    The working group will hold its first meeting at the IOC Executive Board meeting in Dec. 2015. 

    The 2026 Games will be the first edition of the Winter Olympics since Agenda 2020 was adopted in Dec. 2014.

    Written by Nicole Bennett

    Home page and top photo credit: Getty Images

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