Reporting From PyeongChang, South Korea – An interested city has come forward to discuss a possible bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Director Christophe Dubi said Tuesday.
Dubi didn’t name the city, but said discussions were already planned.
The 2024 and 2028 editions were awarded simultaneously in September when Los Angeles conceded the earlier Games to Paris in order to secure the later 2028 Games. LA’s Games are the furthest out an Olympics has ever been sited.
Three of five candidates dropped out of the 2024 campaign due to referendums and lack of political support, mostly due to fear of cost overruns that were experienced in recent Games including over USD $50 billion spent in total to host the Winter Games in Sochi.
But after the IOC relaxed its requirements as part of Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, Paris and Los Angeles delivered projects with most venues built, significantly reducing the cost and risk. Other cities have taken notice.
“The beauty of this flexible process is that anyone who wants to enter the dialogue stage can do at any time,” Dubi said at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games being held this month.
“There is one city saying ‘we’re interested for ’32’; we have a meeting [today], and the dialogue starts now for ’32.
“So anyone that is interested, we talk to them, send the expertise that is needed, and that’s what we’re going to do in the coming months [with bids for the 2026 Games].”
Recently 2032 bids have been discussed in New Delhi, Brisbane and Germany, but Dubi wouldn’t comment on the city that has emerged in PyeongChang.
Calgary, Sapporo, Sion and Stockholm are considered “interested cities” to host the 2026 Games and are part of the dialogue stage and an “observers program” in PyeongChang. The deadline for further cities to express interest is March 31.
When asked whether the IOC might consider electing Winter hosts for both 2026 and 2030 at the same time, as it did last year for the Summer Games, Dubi said it’s “too early to speculate”.
He added that the deadline applies to 2026 only, presumably leaving the window open for 2030 bids, as part of a dual-awarding, to enter some time prior to the September 2019 IOC Session where members will elect the 2026 host.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said last week that it will not bid for the 2026 Games, and would not submit an application by March 31 – but it would be ready to discuss 2030 if the IOC opens a dialogue. Based on Dubi’s comments, that dialogue can begin whenever the USOC is ready.
Salt Lake City, Denver and Reno-Tahoe have expressed domestic interest in hosting for the U.S.
But 2026 options could be limited for the IOC. Sion faces a risky referendum in June, the same month Calgary officials say they will decide whether to bid. Stockholm lacks the political will to move the project forward and Sapporo would represent a third straight Winter Games in Asia.
If those don’t work out, the IOC’s flexibility may also extend to their bid deadlines.