Sapporo mayor plans 2026 Winter Olympic bid

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Sapporo, the Japanese host of the 1972 Winter Olympics, may bid for the Winter Games again in 2026.

“Hosting the Olympic Games will lead Sapporo to a new stage,” Sapporo mayor Fumio Ueda told a city assembly meeting, according to Kyodo News, which reported two-thirds of 10,000 citizens surveyed supported a Sapporo bid. “An atmosphere to proceed to the dream [of hosting the Olympics] is being nurtured among citizens.”

The Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) will decide in 2016 whether or not to bid for the 2026 Winter Games, according to reports. The International Olympic Committee is set to choose the 2026 host city in 2019.

“It’s fantastic that a Japanese city is planning to bid and Sapporo is so passionate about it,” JOC president Tsunekasu Takeda told local media, according to Agence France-Presse. “But there are a lot of hurdles. Of course the JOC would like to see the plan at the earliest opportunity and consider it carefully.

The 2022 Winter Olympics host will be decided next summer, either Almaty, Kazakhstan, or Beijing. It will be the 11th straight city hosting the Winter Games for the first time, a streak Sapporo could break in 2026.

The last time a Winter Olympic host had previous experience in that capacity was Lake Placid in 1980. Lake Placid also hosted the 1932 Winter Games.

Japan is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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