International Olympic Committee to visit Vancouver next week for potential 2030 bid

Apr 29 2022, 7:33 pm

Over 12 years after hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be returning to Vancouver next week to discuss the possibility of re-hosting the Winter Games in British Columbia in 2030.

A three-person delegation of the IOC will arrive in Vancouver next week to engage in multi-day technical feasibility discussions with the local exploratory team. This was first reported today by sports hosting news publication GamesBids.

In a statement to Daily Hive Offside, the IOC says the visit is part of its non-Games specific and non-committal “Continuous Dialogue” and collaborative new approach to Olympic host elections. This now involves providing a range of services such as an IOC technical site visit to assist potential hosts and the specific country’s National Olympic Committee to develop their Games projects and consider their venue options.

“The technical visit also provides the Future Host Commission with a status update on the venue masterplan. The IOC meets regularly, in person or virtually, with Interested Parties and potential hosts of the Olympic Games and Olympic Winter Games,” reads the IOC’s statement.

“We offer contextual advice and guidance, and we are interested at any time to hear from cities, regions and National Olympic Committees who want to discuss hosting, at whatever stage of development of their project. The IOC respects the confidentiality of all these discussions.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) also echoed the IOC on the new bidding process strategy in its comment for Daily Hive Offside.

“As part of the non-committal continuous dialogue and the collaborative new approach to future host elections, the IOC makes available to potential hosts a range of services,” reads the COC’s statement.

“Such services include an IOC technical site visit to assist potential hosts and their National Olympic Committees, to develop their Games projects. The technical visit will also provide the future Host Commission with an update on the future games project.”

The IOC delegation is currently visiting Salt Lake City, which has the US Olympic Committee’s backing to eye the Games in 2030 or 2034. A similar visit to Barcelona has been postponed due to political infighting between the various Spanish host regions pursuing a 2030 bid. Another strong contender for 2030 is Sapporo, Japan. All of these cities previously held the Winter or Summer Games.

The IOC is expected to decide its host city during the IOC Session scheduled for Mumbai, India on May 30, 2023, but recent reforms to the bidding process have also eliminated the traditional seven-year schedule in advance of awarding the Games. The IOC has been engaging cities in a dialogue process, instead of the long-held bidding system of a high-stakes competition.

Last year, the IOC awarded the Australian city of Brisbane the rights to host the 2032 Summer Games — over a decade in advance. As well, the IOC in 2017 simultaneously awarded Paris with the 2024 Summer Games and Los Angeles with the 2028 Summer Games.

Under the reforms to reduce costs and risks of an unsuccessful bid, the most recent bid committees only each only had a budget of about US$5 million — far less than the over US$30 million typically spent by bid committees, including the Vancouver 2010 Bid Committee in the early 2000s.

The potential Vancouver 2030 bid is currently in its exploratory phase, after the original Four Host First Nations from the 2010 Games signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Vancouver and Whistler late last year to consider an Indigenous-led bid and, if successful, an Indigenous-led organizing committee.

Early in 2022, the COC and Canadian Paralympic Committee signed an agreement with the First Nations and both municipal governments to conduct a detailed feasibility assessment on the Games plan. The COC is funding all technical work to date.

The concept plan will be publicly released in June 2022 for all members of the MOU to consider. If approved by each council in the MOU, this will lead to the formal creation of a bid committee in the second half of 2022 for the international bid to the IOC.

Earlier this month, Vancouver City Council overwhelmingly rejected a member motion calling for a public vote on whether Vancouver should host the 2030 Games.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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