IOC rips up Olympic Games bidding manual
The International Olympic Committee has outlined yet more changes to the bidding process for the Olympic Games, including the potential for multi-country hosts, the scrapping of evaluation commissions and a flexible timeline for attribution of the games.
The proposals were submitted at an executive board meeting in Lausanne yesterday by a working group formed two months ago to consider future Olympics and Youth Olympics elections, and will be put before the IOC session in the Swiss city from 24 to 26 June.
Since his election as IOC president in 2013, Thomas Bach has strived to do away with the traditional (and costly and cut-throat) Olympic Games bidding process, aiming to move more towards a collaborative approach that "avoids producing too many losers."
The IOC already followed that procedure for the 2024 Olympics bidding process, with Paris awarded those games and rival Los Angeles being persuaded to follow suit as host city in 2028.
That meant Los Angeles was awarded the games 11 years in advance, compared with the seven years as has been customary.
However, Bach said there will be no fixed timeline when the 2030 winter Olympics bidding process gets under way.
He said: "It could be a situation like Los Angeles where we elect before the seven years, but it could go the other way if you have a city where they say 'we want to rely on existing infrastructure, here is our city development plan, let's complete that first, then we could organise the games if they are allocated six or five and a half years before. So it can go either way. This is what flexibility means in this context."
The lack of interested cities in bidding to host the summer and winter Olympics has prompted the need to break from tradition, and indeed change is already being felt in the ongoing race for the 2026 winter Olympics, with two multi-city bids in the shape of Stockholm-Are in Sweden and Milan-Cortina in Italy. In addition, the Swedish bid involves staging the sliding competitions in Sigulda in Latvia.
This approach now looks likely to be the norm, with Bach suggesting that entire regions could be an "additional signatory" to the host city contract.
Host, the IOC noted, now no longer "necessarily refers to a single city, but can also refer to multiple cities/regions/countries."
Evaluation commissions, which conduct week-long on-the-ground inspection of candidate cities, before producing a report to IOC members, will be replaced by two 'future hosts commissions', which will be tasked with overseeing and assessing interest in hosting future Olympics and Youth Olympics.
The commissions will be made up of representatives from the IOC, international federations, athletes, national Olympic committees and the International Paralympic Committee, with up to 10 on the summer body and eight on the winter body.
The IOC said that input from the commissions would be used as the basis for a "strategic framework for host elections for specific games editions."Bach said: “With Olympic Agenda 2020, we revolutionised the candidature process. Now we have been looking into the evolution of this revolution. Based on the analysis that at this moment we have a momentum for candidatures for the Olympic winter Games 2030, but also the Olympic Games 2032 and even some approaches with regard to the games in 2034 and 2036, the working group has analysed the advantages and challenges of the reasoned procedures.”
Meanwhile, the IOC executive board has proposed 10 new IOC members, headlined by Spyros Capralos, president of Greece's Hellenic Olympic Committee, who seven years ago was linked to black market ticket sales for London 2012.
Bach said Capralos "has served his sanction... a warning cannot be an exclusion forever."
Capralos, executive director of the 2004 Athens Olympics, has become a leading figure within the European Olympic Committees in recent years, serving as the chair of the coordination commission for the Baku 2015 and Minsk 2019 European Games.Greece has been without an IOC member since 2015 when Lambis Nikolaou reached the age limit of 80. It had previously been represented continuously since the formation of the IOC in 1894.
Capralos was one of seven proposed an individual member, the others being: Indonesia's Erick Thohir, the former owner of Italian soccer's Internazionale; Ivory Coast's Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Credit Suisse; Laura Chinchilla, former president of Costa Rica; Cameroon's Ntsama Assembe Celestine Odette Epse Engoulou; Matlohang Moiloa-Ramoqopo from Lesotho; and Filomena Maria Spencer Africano Fortes from Cape Verde.
The three proposed members whose candidatures are linked to a function within an NOC or a continental association of NOCs are: Narinder Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association, and of the FIH, field hockey's governing body; Mustapha Berraf, the Algerian president of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa; and Kee Heung Lee, president of the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee.
The addition of the 10 would take the total number of IOC members to 105.