Romanian International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and former President of the Romania’s National Olympic Committee Octavian Morariu has been selected Chair of the Evaluation Commission for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Leading a group of experts and stakeholders, Morariu will be charged with examining candidacies from Calgary in Canada, Milan-Cortina in Italy and Stockholm in Sweden and providing a report to the executive board before the winning host city is elected in June.
The group will use bid books due on January 11 and site evaluation visits to be carried out in March and April next year to arrive at its findings that will help influence the IOC membership when the final vote is taken. Analyses from outside experts will also be leveraged for the final report.
IOC President Thomas Bach said Thursday “The Evaluation Commission members bring with them broad experience for assessing the candidates.”
“They will guarantee that the projects are analysed based on their alignment with the existing long-term plans of their local communities, as outlined by Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm.”
Morariu added “Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm has already helped these three exciting candidatures achieve efficiencies in their planning and the Commission is committed to working closely with the Cities to ensure that their projects continue to align with the principles of flexibility, legacy and sustainability.”
Some of the members appointed to the group were also involved in the recently completed dialogue phase of the bid process. On October 9 the three cities were invited to continue while Erzurum in Turkey was advised that it needed more time to develop needed infrastructure in order to reduce organizing costs.
Three other cities including Sapporo in Japan, Sion in Switzerland and Graz in Austria had already dropped out of the non-committal phase of the campaign after filing letters of intent in April.
The final vote will take place at the 134th IOC Session scheduled for June in Lausanne, three months earlier than the original plans to hold the event in September. The IOC says the reduced time frame, one of the shortest in history, will help lower the bidding costs for the candidates.
The Evaluation Commission’s full report will be published ahead of the election.
FULL COMMISSION (SOURCE: IOC)
Octavian MORARIU (ROU)
IOC Member; President, Rugby Europe; Member of the Coordination Commission for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022
Kristin KLOSTER AASEN (NOR)
1st Vice-President, Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports; Member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission
Hong ZHANG (CHN)
IOC Athletes’ Commission representative; Olympic champion, Sochi 2014, Speed Skating; Olympian, PyeongChang 2018, Speed Skating; Executive Board member of the Chinese Olympic Committee
Roman KUMPOST (CZE)
Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) representative; Vice-President, Czech Olympic Committee
Heike GROESSWANG (GER)
Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) representative; Secretary General, International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF)
Marianna DAVIS (USA)
International Paralympic Committee (IPC) representative Governing Board member, IPC
LEE Hee-beom (KOR)
President, Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018
José Luis MARCO (ARG)
Member of the Coordination Commission for the XXIV Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and XXI Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010; Member of the Evaluation Commissions for the Olympic Games 2012 and the Olympic Winter Games 2002, 2010 and 2014