The Sapporo 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic bid will reportedly undergo a review that may include a nationwide survey asking the public whether it wants to host the Games, the Sapporo mayor and the Japanese Olympic Committee announced in a press conference Tuesday.
The bid “will be pausing active promotion,” according to a Reuters interpretation of Japanese media reports.
The decisions were made in response to two factors, according to Japanese reports: the IOC announcing two weeks ago that the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic host decision will be delayed beyond next summer. Plus, the recent investigation into corruption related to Tokyo being awarded the 2020 Summer Games back in 2013.
Sapporo mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto said officials have not given up on the 2030 bid, the priority is to gain public support and that the will of the people will be respected, according to reports.
Last March, Hokkaido residents were surveyed regarding Sapporo hosting the 2030 Winter Games. Sapporo, the 1972 Winter Olympic host, is the capital of the island of Hokkaido. By mail, 52.2 percent said they supported it. Online, that number was 56.5 percent. In person, it was 65.5 percent support.
A possible follow-up survey would be broader, possibly nationwide, Akimoto reportedly said Tuesday.
There are three interested parties for the 2030 Winter Games, the IOC said on Dec. 6 without naming them. Previously, Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver were confirmed as bids. Then in October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee has said it prefers 2034 for Salt Lake City, but can step in for 2030 if asked.
Italy will host the next Winter Games in 2026 in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
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