The future of the Olympic host city bid process is now in the hands of nine people, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach announced Thursday when he revealed the members of 14 working groups who are to be part of Agenda 2020.
IOC member John Coates has been named to chair the “Bidding Procedure” working group and will guide his team in evaluating proposals from the Olympic movement, the world of sport and the general public – and through discussion and collaboration will submit recommendations to the IOC for acceptance at a special session in December.
Australian lawyer and President of his national Olympic committee, Coates was instrumental in Sydney’s bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games and he was involved with earlier Melbourne and Brisbane bids.
Appointed as an “expert” in the group is Britain’s Tessa Jowell, a member of parliament who conceived of and spearheaded London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics and continued as the nation’s Olympic minister to help deliver the Games.
Also in the group are Turkish Olympic Committee Vice President Hasan Arat who recently lead a highly acclaimed but failed bid by Istanbul for the 2020 Olympic Games and Britain’s Seb Coe, the famed Olympian who lead the London 2012 bid and organizing committees.
IOC Member and former Executive Board member Nawal El Moutawakel, the Moroccan Olympic Champion who chaired evaluation commissions for both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games bids, is part of the group along with member Gian-Franco Kasper who is President of the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Italian President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations and President of the International Tennis Federation, Francesco Ricci Bitti, U.S. Olympic Champion and IOC Member Angela Ruggiero and Director General of the German Sports Federation (DOSB) Michael Vesper round out the list.
The re-evaluation of the bidding process comes at an opportune time for the IOC as it faces a disappointingly weak group of applicants for the 2022 Winter Games due in part to abandoned applications from potential candidates. Cities from Sweden, Switzerland and Germany have opted out for lack of popular support and funding while current applicants from Krakow, Poland and Oslo, Norway are at risk for the same reasons.
Much of the blame has been placed on the IOC who have made controversial choices allowing spending to spiral out of control – such as Sochi’s reported cost of over $50 billion.
The group will meet to discuss their findings and prepare them for presentation to the IOC Executive Board (EB) in July. After being further vetted by IOC commissions and the EB final recommendations will be discussed by the full IOC membership and tendered for approval of the IOC Extraordinary Session in Monaco on 8 and 9 December 2014.