TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) announced on Thursday it had given the go ahead to the northern city of Sapporo to begin the bid process for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
The JOC formally voted on the move at a board meeting in Tokyo allowing Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Games, to enter the dialogue stage of the bid process.
Sapporo withdrew from the bidding process for the 2026 Olympics, eventually awarded to Milan-Cortina, but has been widely praised by International Olympic President Thomas Bach for stepping in to host the Tokyo 2020 marathon at short notice.
The IOC moved the marathon and road race events to Sapporo to avoid the worst of Tokyo’s summer heat and the city will be hoping that strengthens their case for 2030.
Although no formal bids have been put forward yet, Sapporo will likely have to compete with Salt Lake City, which was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the candidate city should the country want to bid for 2030.
Reporting by Jack Tarrant, editing by Pritha Sarkar