Future Olympic Games elections to be more flexible

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) today approved major changes to the principles governing the future election of Games hosts.

IOC Executive Board Meeting Lausanne 22 May 2019 IOC/Greg Martin

The proposals were submitted during the Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, by the Working Group for Future Games Elections, which was formed at the previous EB meeting in March to consider future Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games elections.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “With Olympic Agenda 2020, we revolutionised the Candidature Process. Now we have been looking into the evolution of this revolution. Based on the analysis that at this moment we have a momentum for candidatures for the Olympic Winter Games 2030, but also the Olympic Games 2032 and even some approaches with regard to the Games in 2034 and 2036, the Working Group has analysed the advantages and challenges of the reasoned procedures.”

IOC/Greg Martin

The Group emphasised five leading principles, which should always be respected when it comes to the election of hosts:

- To preserve the magic of the Games to ensure a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the world’s best athletes;

- To find the best host for the world’s best athletes;

- To preserve the IOC Session’s prerogative to elect the hosts for the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games;

- To maintain the fundamental principle of universality;

- To ensure good governance.

“In the framework of these principles, the Working Group proposed some key changes in order to avoid producing too many losers, as we had for past Candidature Processes,” President Bach concluded.

The new principles aim to provide additional flexibility regarding potential Games hosts, the location of Games venues and the procedure leading to the election of the hosts. They follow the key principles of sustainability, legacy and cost reduction promoted by Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations 1 to 4. 

The key changes proposed are as follows:

  • Establish a permanent, ongoing dialogue to explore interest among cities/regions/countries and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to host the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games
  • Create two Future Host Commissions (Summer/Winter) – in lieu of Evaluation Commissions – to oversee interest in hosting future Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, and report to the EB 
  • Give the IOC Session more influence, as IOC Members will be involved from the very beginning of the dialogue;
  • As advisory bodies to the EB, the Commissions to be composed of non-EB members;
  • Both Commissions to include IOC, NOC, athlete, International Federation, International Paralympic Committee and Continental representation
    • Summer Commission: up to 10 representatives
    • Winter Commission: up to 8 representatives
  • Based on input from the Commissions, the EB to set up a strategic framework for host elections for specific Games editions
    • “Host” does not necessarily refer to a single city, but can also refer to 
      multiple cities/regions/countries
    • Election timings are flexible and adjusted to the context and needs

Following the interim report by its Chair, John Coates, the Working Group was asked by the Executive Board to further develop the principles for presentation and discussion at the IOC Session in Lausanne next month, including any proposed changes to Rules and Bye-laws of the Olympic Charter.

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