IOC delays choice of 2030 Winter Games host to beyond next fall

Reuters file photo
The Olympic rings are pictured in front of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, in March 2020.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Winter sports fans will have to wait beyond autumn of next year to learn where the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be held.

At its executive board meeting Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee pushed back its scheduled decision on choosing a host city, opting to continue indefinite study instead.

Sapporo is making a bid to host the Games.

A decision had been planned for the IOC General Assembly meeting in Mumbai in September to October next year.

Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said at a press conference the decision does not have to be made in 2023 for various reasons, including the need for further discussions on what measures to take and how to implement them in order to hold the Games, as the environment surrounding winter sports has changed significantly due to the effects of climate change.

Salt Lake City and Vancouver are also interested in bidding for the Winter Games. Although Sapporo is a strong candidate for 2030, there are concerns that support within Japan could erode further in the wake of bid-rigging and corruption scandals related to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held last year.

Dubi said he was not at all worried about a delay in the decision because all three cities have experience with hosting the Games, and their existing facilities can be utilized for the event.

“Japan’s bidding campaign for the Games would have to go back to square one,” House of Councillors lawmaker Seiko Hashimoto, who chairs a nonpartisan parliamentary group supporting the bid and who served as president of the Tokyo Games organizing committee, said on Wednesday.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said in a statement that, based on the IOC decision, the city will continue to discuss with the Japanese Olympic Committee the specific bidding schedule and how to proceed with the matter through dialogue with the IOC.