Technical experts from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are scheduled to visit Vancouver starting Sunday to consult with the feasibility team exploring a possible 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid in British Columbia, GamesBids.com has exclusively learned.
Currently in Salt Lake City touring venues being proposed for a Games bid in the Utah capital, the three-person delegation will next travel to the Canadian city for meetings planned to run until next Thursday, May 5. According to the IOC, the technical visits to regions involved in “non-committal Continuous Dialogue” around future Games bids are part of a service to help them weigh the opportunity of hosting.
“Services include an IOC technical site visit to assist potential hosts and their National Olympic Committees to develop their Games projects and consider their venue options,” an IOC spokesperson told GamesBids.com.
“The technical visit also provides the Future Host Commission with a status update on the venue masterplan.”
A similar trip to Spain in May for the Pyrenees-Barcelona bid project had to be postponed due to to stakeholder disagreements about the proposed venue distribution across the region, Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco confirmed this week. Sapporo in Japan is also in the running to host the 2030 Games.
Since 2019 the IOC has evaluated possible Games hosts through a new process that occurs without a formal timeline and mostly behind closed doors. The goal is to allow interested regions to explore hosting possibilities with the IOC without the risk of the embarrassment of losing a race.
“The IOC respects the confidentiality of all these discussions,” the IOC spokesperson said.
As a result, there are likely other interested cities engaged in Continuous Dialogue and poised to enter the 2030 race.
Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) Vice President Andrew Baker told GamesBids.com his team entered Continuous Dialogue with the IOC after the signing of a memorandum of understanding among four First Nations, the municipalities of Vancouver and Whistler and the COC late last year. That milestone jump-started the Games feasibility study which is due to be completed in June when partners will be consulted to determine next steps.
Baker made it clear that 2030 is the target, but the project is exploring future opportunities.
“[The completion of the feasibility study] puts us in a good position to advance the project within the international timeline,” Baker said, referencing the common assumption that a host will be confirmed at the IOC Session to be held in Mumbai, India on May 30, 2023.
United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chair Susanne Lyons was first to identify this possible election date earlier this year while discussing the Salt Lake City bid, but this has not been confirmed. According to the rules, the IOC can single out a preferred candidate at any time, and the Executive Board can propose that bid for election at a Session of its choosing.
The next Winter Games are set to be staged in 2026 across Northern Italy jointly by Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.