Sapporo is reportedly expected to bid for the 2026 Winter Games now that it has approval from the Japan Olympic Committee.
The Japan committee’s vice president said that Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, is expected to announce its bid by the end of March deadline, according to Kyodo News.
The 2026 Olympics have one confirmed bid so far from Sion, Switzerland, though its future may hinge on a public vote. IOC members are expected to vote to choose the 2026 host city in 2019.
The U.S. Olympic Committee wants to bid for the 2026 or 2030 Winter Games, preferably 2030. Salt Lake City, the last U.S. Winter Olympic host city in 2002, Denver and Reno-Tahoe are possible U.S. bid cities.
The next two Winter Olympics in 2018 and 2022 will be in East Asia in PyeongChang, South Korea, and Beijing.
Japan is also hosting the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
“I think [IOC president] Thomas Bach has publicly stated that he would like to see the Winter Games return to a more traditional location,” USOC chairman Larry Probst said in September. “So, to me, that’s code for Europe or North America. … We’ll have to monitor that, see what the situation looks like and then develop our strategy for whether we’re going to bid for the next Winter Games or longer than that.”
Sapporo, which has been talked about as a potential 2026 bid city for more than three years, hosted the Asian Winter Games this year, as well as in 1986 and 1990.
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