Sapporo is the first official bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics after Japan’s Olympic Committee approved it in a Wednesday vote, according to Japanese media.
Sapporo, Salt Lake City and Barcelona were named as interested potential 2030 bidders by the International Olympic Committee three weeks ago.
Host cities have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline.
Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Games and will host this summer’s Olympic marathons and race walks, which were moved 500 miles north of Tokyo due to heat concerns.
Sapporo took part in the dialogue stage for the 2026 bid race before withdrawing in 2018 to focus on 2030. Italy’s Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo were awarded the 2026 Winter Games over Sweden’s Stockholm-Are in an IOC members vote on June 24.
IOC president Thomas Bach was asked about Sapporo’s interest in 2030 on Jan. 10 and said there’s no doubt it could organize an “excellent” Winter Games. IOC member Octavian Morariu said Sapporo would use 92 percent existing venues.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said in December 2018 that if it bids for the 2030 Winter Games, it will be with Salt Lake City, but it hasn’t announced an official bid. The Utah capital was the last U.S. host for the Winter Olympics in 2002. The U.S. hasn’t put forth a formal Winter Games bid since.
The IOC labeled the third interested party as “Pyrenees-Barcelona.” Morariu said sliding sports and ski jumping would be held outside Spain, as the nation does not have existing venues for those sports. Morariu also said Spain’s Olympic Committee still has to finalize its wish to enter into dialogue with the IOC.
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