Olympic Games


Sapporo to ditch 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics bid

Sapporo to ditch 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics bid
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Sapporo has decided to walk away from bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it has been reported.

The embarrassing bribery scandal from Tokyo 2020 saw the northern Japanese city's bid put on hold last December.

However, according to Kyodo News, the bid has now been abandoned.

The reputation of Tokyo 2020 was severely damaged when reports about alleged bid rigging for contracts linked to test events prior to the Games in the Japanese capital emerged.

It also swayed the opinion of the public in the country on going for another Olympics.

Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto is set to meet with the Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita next Wednesday (October 11) to "talk about how we should proceed".

There is nothing I can comment on right now," Akimoto was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

We must proceed with an Olympic bid with the understanding of the local people, 

Akimoto added, according to another report.

At this point, we cannot say that we are gaining that understanding.

I received an offer from President Yamashita to discuss bidding for the Games in the future.

The news comes days after Sapporo said it has updated its management plan for the bid.

Suggestions included avoiding a company overseeing sponsorship deals with marketing responsibilities distributed among multiple firms.

It was hoped that this would avoid a repetition of the alleged bid rigging scandal involving Japanese advertising firm Dentsu, which had a deal with Tokyo 2020 to find sponsors.

Multiple officials in connection with Tokyo 2020 have been indicted while cases are still going on in courts in Japan.

Other proposals included reducing the number of members in the Organising Committee with calls for 50 per cent of them to be women.

While it's disappointing, we remain committed to training young children aiming for 2034,

said Kazushige Niki, executive director of the Ski Association of Hokkaido.

We will also focus on initiatives that foster a positive mindset in our athletes.

Vancouver in Canada was another bid that was withdrawn due to a lack of Government support.

The United States, Sweden, Switzerland, and France are among the other countries interested in staging the event. 

The bid from Salt Lake City in the United States however is looking at the 2034 edition to avoid proximity with Los Angeles 2028.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was due to elect a host at this month's IOC Session in Mumbai but has delayed the decision until next year amid problems with the bidders.

Sapporo has hosted the Winter Games previously in 1972.

Photo: © Getty Images
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