You can read 19 more articles this month
THE mayor of Sapporo and the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee are weighing a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics but declined to say yesterday whether they’ll withdraw from the contest to host the games in 2026.
City officials said last week that a bid for the 2030 Olympics seems more likely than pursuing 2026.
Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto and Tsunekazu Takeda, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee, met yesterday in Tokyo and remained vague about the bid.
“In the meeting, we did not discuss dropping our bid for 2026 and shifting it to 2030,” the mayor said. “But we exchanged information including the schedule of the city’s planning programme to decide whether we will continue our bid for 2026 or change it for 2030.”
Sapporo is one of seven bidders in preliminary talks with the IOC about 2026. The other interested cities are Stockholm, Sweden; Calgary, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; Milan-Turin, Italy; Erzurum, Turkey; Graz, Austria.
The IOC has not ruled out awarding 2026 and 2030 at the same meeting. In October it will reduce the field of host candidates for 2026 and pick the winning bid in September 2019.
Takeda and the mayor said that planning for a high-speed rail line might be the determining factor.
“In order to host the Olympic Games, I think the most ideal situation is to coordinate with city planning,” Takeda said.
“I think having the bullet trains and finishing the city planning by the time of hosting the Olympic Games is a very important factor to have a successful Olympics. That is no guarantee of a successful bid for 2030, but I can say that having that kind of infrastructure will be a strong advantage for them if they decide to bid for 2030.”
The mayor said neither the high-speed train nor new highways would be ready for 2026, “but most likely they will be ready for 2030.”
No matter its decision, Sapporo is a long shot for 2026.
Three straight Olympics are being held in Asia — the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
IOC president Thomas Bach has said he wants to return in 2026 to a traditional winter-sports venue, probably in Europe or North America.
Stockholm is viewed as an early favourite, partly because the bid is unlikely to face a public vote, which has scuttled other potential candidates in Europe.
Sapporo hosted a very successful Winter Olympics in 1972. In 2030, it could face competition from two other successful Winter Olympic hosts. Lillehammer, Norway, was the 1994 host venue and Salt Lake City in the United States was the host in 2002. Both cities have shown interest in 2030.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.