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Sapporo to step up plan for 2026 Olympics bid

The Japanese city of Sapporo has revealed that it will present an initial bid plan for the 2026 winter Olympic Games to the Japanese Olympic Committee after the conclusion of this summer’s Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Sapporo, which previously staged the winter Olympics in 1972, first declared its interest in hosting the 2026 Games in November 2014, when Mayor Fumio Ueda announced the city’s intention to bid. The Games last took place in Japan at Nagano in 1998.

Speaking to the Bloomberg news agency, Tadakatsu Sato, head of a Sapporo government section tasked with bringing the Games to the city, today (Tuesday) said: “We will present the bid to the Japanese Olympic Committee after the summer when the Rio Olympics and Paralympic Games are over. We’ve made a plan. We are working to build a joint goal with the people of Sapporo and heighten awareness as we move to summer.”

A report published last week said hosting the 2026 Games could cost Sapporo up to 456.5bn yen (€3.4bn/$4.2bn). The city’s initial plan places 90 per cent of all Games facilities within half an hour of the Olympic village, which would be located next to the Sapporo Dome. An Alpine course would be situated in Niseko.

PyeongChang in South Korea will host the next edition of the winter Olympics in 2018, with the Chinese capital of Beijing scheduled to stage the 2022 Games. The International Olympic Committee is not due to select a winning bid for the 2026 Games until 2019.

Earlier this month, Quebec City in Canada announced it would not be following up an initial declaration of interest with a bid as it did not believe it had a chance of winning. The Swiss Olympic Committee is said to be pursuing a number of bid options, although there are yet to be any official proposals to stage the Games in 2026.