JOC President ‘Stunned’ by IOC Approval of Plan to Pick 2030, 2034 Winter Games Hosts at Same Time’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yasuhiro Yamashita, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee

MUMBAI — The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) has said he was stunned by the unexpected approval by the International Olympic Committee of a proposal to decide the host cities of 2030 and 2034 Winter Games at the same time.

“I had misread [the moves of the IOC],” Yasuhiro Yamashita said at a press conference in Mumbai on Saturday, after the proposal put forward by the Future Host Commission was approved by the IOC Executive Board earlier that day. The host city for both the 2030 and 2034 games will be narrowed down at an Executive Board meeting that is scheduled to start at the end of November.

The city of Sapporo and the JOC announced Wednesday that they would give up their bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after deciding to focus on 2034 or later.

“We remain aware that Salt Lake City in the United States is seen as a strong candidate to host the 2034 Winter Games, and it will be difficult [for Sapporo] to win the bid to host it,” Yamashita said.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto also said Saturday that the city will continue its efforts to host the Games in 2034 or later. “We will continue to keep a close eye on the situation,” he said during an interview that took place in the city.

However, he said, “In reality, if the venues for both games are narrowed down by the end of November, it will be difficult for us to proceed while considering the wishes of local residents.”