The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tuesday announced that the 2026 Winter Olympic bid election will be moved up three months from September 11, 2019 to around June 23, 2019.
The location of the organization’s 134th Session needed to be moved to adhere to the Olympic Charter stipulation that the election of a host city could not take place in a nation that has a candidate in the race.
On Tuesday the IOC approved a 2026 Olympic bid shortlist including an Italian joint project from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Milan had been awarded the Session in September last year when discussion around a possible Italian bid was still in its infancy.
Calgary in Canada and Stockholm in Sweden are also among the three finalists.
The IOC Executive Board proposed the new Lausanne location and date to coincide with the inauguration of the organization’s new official headquarters, where the candidate city briefings were to be held.
The move significantly reduces the campaign time for the three cities in the race. The Executive Board notified the three candidates of the possible change ahead of today’s official decision.
IOC President Thomas Bach defended the surprise change on the calendar by pointing to further cost savings.
“We had talks with the different candidate cities,” he said.
“It’s another opportunity to cut costs of their bidding procedure and to save money.
“All of the candidature committees agreed with the shortening of this period.”
The reduced schedule will result in one of the shortest Olympic bid campaigns in recent history.”
Bid books along with guarantees are due into the IOC on January 11 and site evaluation visits to the candidate cities will take place around March and April.
The candidate city briefings that were to be held in Lausanne next Summer in a separate meeting ahead of the election will instead occur during the same rescheduled Session.