2032's Summer Games Appear Set, But No Word on 2030's Winter Games Yet
When Budapest dropped out of the running for the 2024 Summer Games, it left only Paris and Los Angeles as candidates. Faced with two logical hosts, and looking to avoid a messy 2028 bid season, the IOC awarded 2024 to Paris and 2028 to Los Angeles, setting up today's 'targeted dialogue' with a single preferred future host.
While some struggle to adjust to the new world, from journalists to other would-be bids, there is some logic to a revamped awarding. In addition to the opportunity to pre-select a very capable host, the new approach also helps avoid a repeat of the 2022 Winter Games bid season, in which the IOC found itself caught between a choice of either Almaty or Beijing, neither of which ideal. Beijing was the obvious choice for getting a Games held, but predictably has still caused the IOC headaches.
There was luckily no such public rancor in the race for the 2026 Winter Games, awarded to Milano-Cortina over Stockholm-Are in what is likely to be the last host selection under the old multi-bid candidature system.
In any case, let's look at who might end up with the Games...
Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Games, and would thus join the ranks of double-hosts - St. Moritz, Innsbruck, Lake Placid, and Cortina d'Ampezzo (after 2026) are the others.
Aside from a proven ability to host a Games, Sapporo may actually benefit from Tokyo 2020, despite the IOC generally wanting to avoid going back to the same region -let alone nation - so soon. A well-received 2020 Olympics may help solidify public support for Japan's hosting, and there may be some will to reward Japan in some measure as compensation or reward for managing a Games despite the current Covid-19 pandemic.
An intriguing three-nation bid from Spain, Andorra, and France would make Barcelona the second city to host a Games in both the summer and winter (Beijing will be the first in 2022 after its 2008 Summer Games). Who wouldn't get a kick out of an Olympic world stage in the tiny nation of Andorra? Its world-class ski resorts would certainly get a lift!
But this unique candidate may have shot itself in the foot with a pause in planning last fall, awaiting clarity from pandemic conditions and subsequent public support.
Salt Lake City
Does the IOC remember the 2002 Olympic Bid Scandal?? Six IOC members were expunged for bribery charges. Yet here we are with Salt Lake City coming back again, hat-in-hand, looking for another Games opportunity.
Granted, the 2002 Games are looked back on favorably - aside from the little bribery - and you can count on the United States to produce a commercially successful event. Though, attention may be shifting to 2034 in deference to Sapporo's bid.
A newcomer to the conversation is the host of the 2010 Games. Those Olympics were a beaming success, despite an unusual concern for snow levels.
The positive recent memories of 2010 may have made Vancouver the leading candidate, had they not gotten a late start in consideration.
The Ukrainian city withdrew its bid for the 2002 Games, but has recently expressed an interest in 2030. Bringing an Olympics here would be a return to Eastern Europe after Sarajevo 1984 and Sochi 2014.
The political unrest that derailed 2022's efforts may be too fresh in the IOC's minds, and there would likely need to be more infrastructure built than in other bids. But as track & field legend, and Ukrainian National Olympic Committee president, Sergey Bubka says, "Those who do not dream, do not win."
Which candidate do you think will be the 2030 host?