(ATR) The International Olympic Committee decision to change and move forward the location of the 2019 session from Milan to Lausanne reduces the 2026 candidature phase to an unprecedented eight months.
Thomas Bach, center, recaps the 2018 IOC Session (ATR)
It will mark the shortest timeframe ever between the launch of an Olympic bid candidature phase and the election of a host city.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says that all three approved 2026 bid cities – Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo, Calgary and Stockholm – were informed and agreed to the truncated timeframe. Additionally, he noted that it will reduce costs.
Bach also said that the IOC has not agreed to any financial compensation package with the Italian Olympic Committee as a result of the cancellation of the Milan session. However, a CONI spokesperson tells Around the Rings
that there will be a financial agreement worked out soon.
“We had talks with the different candidate cities – we were from the very beginning of the opinion that shortening this period is another opportunity to cut costs of the bidding procedure and to save money for the candidature committee and all the candidature committees then agreed with this shortening of this period,” Bach said at a news conference following the conclusion of the IOC session in Buenos Aires.
“There is not a unilateral change of the procedure, but it is an agreement with all the three now candidate cities,” he said.
The Milan IOC session had been slated for September of 2019. The re-scheduled session in Lausanne will be approximately June 23, around the time of the opening of the new IOC headquarters.
The three candidate cities will only be permitted to promote their bids internationally at the ANOC meeting in Tokyo this November and at SportAccord in Queensland, Australia next May.
Refugee Team Returns for Tokyo
The Refugee Olympic Team will return for Tokyo 2020, after winning unanimous approval from the Buenos Aires Session.
Bach fielded questions following the 2018 IOC Session in Buenos Aires (ATR)
Bach said that approving the team two years out from the Tokyo Olympics will allow for more time and support for the refugee athletes. Previously, the IOC approved the Rio Refugee Team just months out from the 2016 Olympics.
The IOC is currently supporting just over 50 refugee athletes worldwide, which could still grow ahead of Tokyo. Bach said that the goal is to have as many athletes as possible meet the Olympic qualification standard, but the IOC may invite “some who are coming close”.
“After having consulted with UN High Commission on Refugees we came to the conclusion that such a new refugee Olympic team would be another important message to the refugees of the world,” Bach said.
“The signal of hope to the refugees that despite having to suffer from being a refugee you can achieve something and can compete with the awareness that refugees are an enrichment to sport and can be an enrichment to society.”
The 2020 Refugee Olympic Team will have two distinct goals, Bach said. First will be to offer hope to stateless people around the world that they can still participate in sport at a high level, and compete in the Olympic Games.
Second, the team will aim to make sure the global refugee crisis “does not disappear from conscience of the world”. Bach said that there are over 68 million refugees worldwide, more than the population of France.
Deconstructed Olympic Opening Ceremony
Thomas Bach said that future opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games could move to the “center of a city or an iconic landmark” following the success of the Buenos Aires 2018 model.
Buenos Aires is experimenting with a deconstructed format of the Youth Olympic Games. Bach said that elements from these Games will certainly blend into future Olympics. The last Summer YOG in Nanjing allowed for the testing of new sports, and the IOC will certainly do the same in Buenos Aires.
Bach said the YOG is “an ideal testing ground” in charting the direction of future Olympics, with the IOC being able to evaluate a sport over a number of years.
“We should wherever possible go where the people are and this our Argentine hosts have done in a great way,” Bach said. “I can imagine an Olympic opening ceremony in the center of a city or an iconic landmark of a city after the great success we could enjoy here.”
Written by Brian Pinelli and Aaron Bauer in Buenos Aires
For general comments or questions, click here .
25 Years at # 1: Your best source for news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com , for subscribers only.