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The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has announced that seven NOC’s (National Olympic Committees) from three continents have expressed an official interest in hosting the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. A number of other NOCs, including the United States, are already considering 2030 and beyond.

The cities with official interest in hosting 2026 Games are Graz (Austria), Calgary (Canada), Sapporo (Japan), Stockholm (Sweden), Sion (Switzerland), Erzurum (Turkey) and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Milan and Turin from Italy.

This is the first group benefitting entirely from the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms which offer a cost-efficient, transparent and flexible delivery of the Games from candidature through to legacy.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “I warmly welcome the NOCs and cities’ interest in hosting the Olympic Winter Games.

“These NOCs with their interested cities demonstrate the great confidence in the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020. But our goal is not just to have a record number of candidates. Ultimately, it is to select the best city to stage the best Olympic Winter Games for the best athletes of the world.

“The IOC has turned the page with regard to Olympic candidatures. Our reforms, including the ‘New Norm’, simplify and cut costs for cities organising the Olympic Games. They all understand that the IOC is not just talking the talk but is also walking the walk,” he added.

These interested cities and NOCs will continue with the new Dialogue Stage in which the IOC provides NOCs with greater support, technical advice, communications assistance and materials to develop the best possible candidature.

The new approach enables cities to create the most feasible, legacy-enhancing Olympic Games possible. During the Dialogue Stage, the IOC will work together with the cities and NOCs to narrow the field and ultimately produce the best possible host city.

The New Norm will also afford increased flexibility in designing Games that meet the long-term development goals of the city, region and country.

The 7-year preparation journey hasbeen significantly simplified and hosts will receive more support from the IOC and the wider Olympic Movement. Legacy is a priority from the very start of the planning through to final delivery and well beyond.

Christophe Dubi, IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, said: “The Games will be simpler and cheaper to deliver. The candidature process has been reviewed as well. We have made it far easier for the candidate cities. We are starting from the very beginning in a spirit of full construction and partnership with the IOC”.

“We have a lot of expertise to help the cities with people who have done the Games before to make sure the plans are solid and they fit with the long-term perspective of the communities. As a result these are stronger and better projects.”

The host city for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 will be selected by the IOC session in September 2019.

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