AKIPRESS.COM - Seven cities, or joint-bidding cities have expressed interest in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.
Canada's Calgary, Austria's Graz, Swedish capital Stockholm, Sion in Switzerland, Turkey's Erzurum, Japan's Sapporo and an Italian bid involving Cortina d'Ampezzo, Milan and Turin are all in the initial process.
There is considerable Olympic experience in the field with Calgary having hosted the 1988 Winter Games and Sapporo having staged the 1972 edition. Cortina is also a former host, having organised the 1956 Winter Olympics as is Turin in 2006.
Stockholm has hosted summer Games but despite repeated attempts, has failed to land the winter Olympics. It last bid briefly for 2022 but pulled out mid-race.
The cities will now enter a dialogue stage until October when the IOC will invite an unspecified number of them to take part in the one-year candidature phase. The IOC has also simplified the seven-year preparation for Games organizers, reducing costs, upping the IOC's contribution and allowing host cities more flexibility in planning for the Olympics and the post-Games use of facilities.