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Sapporo drops out of 2026 Winter Olympics race while Calgary votes to continue

The Japanese city of Sapporo has become the latest candidate to drop out of the race to host the 2026 Olympic Games, while the Calgary City Council has voted to continue with its bid.

Sapporo’s withdrawal has been expected for some time, but the move was accelerated by an earthquake which hit Hokkaido, the northern Japanese Island of which Sapporo is the capital, last week. According to the Japan Times, the city’s deputy mayor, Takatoshi Machida, will confirm the plan to drop their bid in a meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach (pictured) on Monday 17 September.

Sapporo will instead turn its attentions to the 2030 Winter Olympics. Sapporo previously hosted the Winter Games in 1972, becoming the first Asian city to do so.

The Calgary City Council, meanwhile, voted 12-3 in favour of continuing their bid, and will now turn to a public vote on 13 November, asking whether the people of the city support the campaign.

The news means that four bids are set to officially confirm their candidacy at the IOC Session in Bueno Aires next month: Calgary will be joined by Stockholm in Sweden, Turkey’s Erzurum, and a joint Italian bid formed by Milan, Turin and the Alpine resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.