Sports

IOC appoints new head of Winter Olympics Future Host Commission

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Over the summer Austrian Karl Stoss was appointed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the new Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games. 

Stoss was already a serving member of the Commission.

IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement, “Karl Stoss brings with him huge experience of winter sports, coming as he does from one of the leading winter sports nations in the world. Under his chairmanship, the Commission will be in very safe hands as we continue the dialogue with a number of potential hosts for the Olympic Winter Games 2030 and beyond. I would like to also thank Octavian Morariu for all his dedication and hard work in chairing the Commission since it was created in 2019.”

IOC member Mr Morariu took the decision to stand down as the Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Olympic Winter Games following the decision by the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) to further explore an ambition to host future Olympic Winter Games in France.

Mr Morariu, who has French-Romanian dual nationality, took the decision to avoid any potential conflict of interest. This is in keeping with the Future Host Commissions – Terms of Reference, under the new approach to electing Olympic hosts. That includes ‘The revolutionary new approach to electing hosts for Olympic Games and youth Olympic Games results in significant cost savings for potential hosts, as well as more sustainable projects and master plans.’

The seven-person IOC Future Games Commission is comprised of the following members’ nationalities:

  • Chile
  • Afghanastan
  • Scotland
  • Norway
  • China
  • Slovakia
  • Netherlands

The word “host” does not necessarily refer to a single city, but can also refer to multiple cities/regions/countries, is what it reads in the wording of the IOC host-choosing guidelines. The Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic Games marks the first time for such new nomenclatures.

That leads bid cities to speculate that if the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is awarded a future bid, and like they were told a few years ago, that Salt Lake City would be the American city, that it could be called the Salt Lake-Park City Olympics. That would be a departure from the name Salt Lake 2002. Milan, Italy is the equivalent to the metropolis of Salt Lake City and Cortina, Italy is the equivalent to the nearby mountain town.

The Commission also oversees future bid interest for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). While the next Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon, S. Korea in January of 2024, the next Summer YOG is in Dakar, Senegal in 2026 which will be the first IOC event on the continent of Africa, leading some to speculate that an inaugural African Olympics could be not too far in the future.

Part of the mission of the IOC’s future-choosers is to, “To preserve the magic of the Olympic Games.” 

No official date has been provided as to when a decision may be made to host the 2030 and/or 2034 Winter Games, a bid process Salt Lake City is in.

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