A bid to host the Olympic Games in 2032 is materializing in China as the cities of Chengdu and Chongqing, located about 400 km apart, look to boost the image of the region on the international stage.
According to China Daily, a development plan released by the provincial sports governing body revealed plans, hinting that a bid to host the quadrennial sports event was quickly emerging.
“As part of a national strategy to develop the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the two cities will bid for the Olympics together to try to host a Games with strong urban and cultural characteristics of the two cities, and to enhance the international influence of the two cities,” the report read.
An anonymous spokesperson reportedly revealed that the target was 2032, the next available date after Paris hosts in 2024 and Los Angeles stages the event in 2028.
Tokyo is hoping to host a postponed 2020 Games next July amid the currently raging coronavirus pandemic. The disruption to the sport calendar by COVID-19 has also halted the 2032 bid race that was informally launched in January when Brisbane in Australia formed a bid committee. The Queensland capital had been the early front runner but delays have opened a window for other regions to enter the race.
China would join a growing field that also includes Jakarta in Indonesia, Doha in Qatar, a regional project in Germany, a joint Unified Korea bid from Seoul and Pyongyang, and Mumbai in India.
Istanbul in Turkey has also expressed interest.
China’s Shanghai had discussed bidding two years ago, but no further announcements have been made.
Sichuan capital Chengdu with a population of about 14 million is set to host the FISU 2021 University Games next August and is preparing several new venues for the project. Along with Chongqing and its municipal population of over 30 million, the regions have co-hosted other domestic events including Basketball and Tennis tournaments.
Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympics in February 2022. The Capital became the first Chinese city to host the Summer Games in 2008 and will become the first city in the world to host both seasonal editions.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not set a timetable for the election of a 2032 host city which is typically chosen seven years in advance of the opening ceremony. Last year new reforms put the site selection process in the hands of a future host commission and the IOC Executive Board, along with the flexibility to award the Games whenever the timing is right.
IOC President recently admitted that that time is not now as two Olympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing are being organized only 6 months apart and during a global health crisis. The 2032 edition of the Games is not expected to be awarded before 2022.