Q&A

How does the new process work?
The new process provides Cities and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) with more flexibility to develop Games proposals with greater support directly from the IOC.

The aim is that the proposed plans will be fully aligned with, and advance, local, regional and national development goals, as well as having a smaller financial, operational and environmental impact.

The revised Candidature Process comprises two stages:
  • A new, one-year, non-committal Dialogue Stage (October 2017 to October 2018) that will provide Interested Cities and NOCs with an opportunity to engage with the IOC to assess the benefits and requirements related to hosting the Olympic Winter Games 2026. Cities will also be able to benefit from Olympic Winter Games expertise delivered through the IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders.
  • A shortened formal Candidature Stage (October 2018 to September 2019) with streamlined procedures enabling those Cities that are invited to become Candidate Cities to work closely with the IOC to ensure the best possible Games delivery and legacy plans.

Cities will not be required to submit any formal proposals or make any presentations during the Dialogue Stage. The IOC will take a more proactive role in assisting and supporting Interested Cities well before any commitment. This will include increased support in areas such as technical expertise and communications support.

An IOC Working Group will then compile a report based on the Cities’ concepts and the IOC’s own analysis and research, assessing the feasibility of Interested Cities to successfully host the Games. The Working Group will submit the report to the IOC Executive Board in October 2018.

The Executive Board will then recommend which Interested Cities should be invited to become Candidate Cities. During its meeting in October 2018 in Buenos Aires, the IOC Session will invite a number of Interested Cities to participate in the Candidature Stage and become Candidate Cities.

The procedure will be tailored to the context and needs of each city and will include ongoing open dialogue between the Cities and the IOC, enabling continuous improvement of the Games projects. These changes benefit Cities through greater expertise provided by the IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders and fewer deliverables required throughout the Candidature Process, substantially reducing candidature budgets.
How important is the new Dialogue Stage to a city’s chances of winning the right to host the Olympic Winter Games?
The Dialogue Stage will be a crucial stepping stone for all Cities to develop the very best possible proposals that ultimately have the best chance of winning the vote by IOC Members in 2019.

It provides an important opportunity to engage in open and non-committal dialogue with the IOC from the very start of the process. The IOC and Olympic Movement stakeholders will provide expertise to help Cities understand and benefit from the process as well as shape their candidature.

Throughout the Dialogue Stage, interactive working sessions and expert support visits will be used to discuss and consolidate the Games concept.

There will be no need for Cities to produce any new documents, and indeed they will only need to share existing studies and documents if requested by the IOC.
When will the new host city contractual requirements be published?
The 2026 Host City Contract Principles was made available to Interested Cities on 29 March 2018. The HCC operational requirements will be published by 1 June 2018.
How will the new process help our city develop its bid?
The IOC will work closely with Cities to develop their candidature from the very start of the process, both from a technical perspective – by giving access to a range of experts in Games delivery – and also from the point of view of how the project will meet the long-term needs of the city and its people.

There will be opportunities for engagement at every stage, with more support from the IOC, International Federations and other Olympic stakeholders.

Specifically, the IOC will provide:
  • In-City Interactive Working Sessions – To be held in the respective Interested Cities between November 2017 and June 2018.
  • On-site expert support – In addition to the interactive working sessions, the IOC offers to send technical experts to the Interested Cities to support them in developing their concepts. All IOC technical experts have extensive experience in bidding for and hosting Olympic Games, with specialised knowledge related to areas such as Sports, Venues, Infrastructure, Transport, Accommodation, Security, Sustainability, Legacy, Finance and Marketing. Costs for all expert support visits are covered by the IOC and the same experts are available to all Cities.
  • Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 Observer Programme – This is an essential element of the IOC Knowledge Transfer Programme. Each city will have access to approximately 20 observer visits and round-table sessions in a tailormade programme to witness operations in an actual Olympic Games environment.
  • Official Debriefing of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 – The Official Debriefing of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will be held in Beijing in June 2018. Forming an integral part of the wider post-Games analysis Candidature Process 2026 – Q&A 6 and information collection, the Debriefing provides a forum to exchange experiences and discuss the major conclusions of the latest edition of the Games with future organisers.

Considering that Cities may have different needs at different times, the IOC adopts a flexible approach to providing support and coordinates its support services with each city individually.
How did the 2024 candidature cities benefit from the new process?
The Cities involved in the 2024 Candidature Process enjoyed several benefits that helped them shape successful bids.

First, the new process put a greater emphasis on the need to engage with communities and stakeholders. This increased engagement helped to better establish the local needs and strategic priorities, and integrate them more successfully into the bids. This helped construct more robust plans.

Second, increased dialogue with the IOC also helped the cities to make adjustments to their proposals and shape them so that there was no need for extensive infrastructure spending. In both the Paris and Los Angeles candidatures, existing and temporary venues made up more than 90 per cent of their Games plans.

Finally, the closer partnership between the Cities and the IOC ensured the process was more flexible and proactive. This led to more effective communication, and also built support for their candidatures. Polls showed both cities had support of more than 70 per cent of their population to host the Games.

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti said: “We were told all these myths about what this process was supposed to be. I was told this was going to be a very inflexible IOC; and what we experienced was tremendous flexibility. We were told if we read what’s going on that this process is tainted. It was clean and clear. We were told that it would be very demanding and that you’d have to be super ambitious. Instead it was cooperative and collaborative.”

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said: “With Agenda 2020 the IOC has a really clear vision about its role at an international level to help solve big challenges: climate challenges, social challenges, all these challenges that contribute to building peace and brotherhood, forged from the humanitarian values of the Olympic spirit. For me this is really important. Without Agenda 2020 I am not convinced Paris would have even considered a candidature. Olympic Agenda 2020 has been a crucial factor in my decision.”
What is the IOC’s position on public consultation regarding hosting the Games?
Community support is an important factor in the selection of a host city, and the IOC encourages extensive public consultation and engagement right from the outset of a proposed candidature. It is important to consult a wide cross-section of the community including groups that are both “pro” and “anti” the Games. Pro-Games groups can be valuable advocates in the community and working with them can help build widespread support.

Often through engaging with groups that are opposed to hosting the Games it is possible to discover and address the main concerns they have regarding the Games and in some cases include solutions to these issues in candidature plans.

The important thing is to engage as much, as often and as early as possible.
How can the process be transparent if it includes a secret ballot?
The entire process is designed to be as fair and transparent as possible, whilst also upholding the democratic principle of confidential voting.

All documents related to the candidature process are publicly available, including the proposals from each City and the Host City Contract.

The purpose of the Rules for the Candidature Process - Olympic Winter Games 2026 is to ensure an honest and fair procedure for all Cities, exempt from any external influence – political or otherwise – with equal conditions and opportunities for each City and the absence of any risk of conflicts of interest.

To ensure that the democratic process is respected, the vote is secret, as are votes for political elections in the vast majority of democratic countries.
Is preference given to cities who have previously submitted a candidature?
No. One of the fundamental principles of the Olympic Movement is that of universality and political neutrality.
Are the Games awarded on a continental rota system?
No. Each Candidature Process and City proposal will be examined and then judged on its own merits.
What opportunities do the Paralympic Games bring?
The Paralympic Games play a very important role in creating a more inclusive society for people with an impairment. Para sport challenges stereotypes and transforms attitudes, helping to increase inclusion by breaking down social barriers and discrimination towards people with an impairment.

The Paralympics can also be a catalyst to improve accessibility of transport and urban design.

From an operational perspective, the IOC supports the International Paralympic Committee and whilst the two organisations and events are separate they do work closely together. The Paralympics benefit by following the Olympic Games and making use of many of the same facilities (competition venues, Olympic Village, etc.), thereby allowing them to be organised at a significantly lower cost.
What new sports/events could be included in the Olympic Winter Games 2026?
The IOC runs a formal selection process to determine which sports will be on the Olympic Games programme, which is voted on by IOC Members at the time of the election of the Host City. The event programme is then defined by the IOC no later than three years before the Olympic Games, in close collaboration with the host city.

Olympic Agenda 2020 also offers the possibility for the host city to propose one or more events from new sports to be included for their specific edition of the Olympic Games. However, this should be a consideration only after the completion of the Candidature Process.
How can you benefit from the Candidature Process even if unsuccessful?
The Olympic Games project is unique in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders around the table, including the public sector, the private sector, nongovernmental organisations, community groups, to engage around a common objective.

A clear vision of how a candidature fits within existing policy programmes and goals, therefore, can deliver benefits even if a City is not chosen to host the Games. Very often the process of planning for a Games ten years into the future compels a City to examine a wide variety of areas - such as sports infrastructure, tourism facilities, accommodation, technology and transport - and really consider what they need from them. This can be valuable whether they host the Games or not.

Benefits can include increased engagement with community groups; uniting local stakeholders behind a shared strategic vision for long-term development; or building expertise and capacity in areas such as hosting international events. The IOC can help support this process by sharing lessons from past Candidature Processes and working with the City.
What are the rules of the Candidature Process – Olympic Winter Games 2026?
The Rules for the Candidature Process – Olympic Winter Games 2026 (the “Rules”) detail the clear and open framework under which the campaign and election for the host city will be conducted.

Their purpose is to ensure an honest and fair procedure for all Cities, exempt from any external influence, with equal conditions and opportunities for each City and the absence of any risk of conflicts of interest.
Will the IOC be dictating how we construct our candidature and ultimately how we run the Games?
No. The IOC absolutely believes that the best Games and best legacy result from an active and close partnership between all stakeholders, including city and national authorities, the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the relevant international sports bodies.

For the 2026 candidature cycle, the IOC has also undertaken significant changes to the Candidature Process to minimise the costs of a candidature and maximise the possible opportunities. The changes will also ensure that Interested Cities develop Games proposals that are aligned with, and advance, local, regional and national development goals, and have less financial, operational and environmental impact.

Overall, guided by Olympic Agenda 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Strategic Working Group, the process for 2026 has been adapted so that Interested Cities and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) can tailor a proposal based on their own context.

During a new, one-year, non-committal Dialogue Stage, Interested Cities will work more closely with the IOC than has been the case in the past. Cities can expect closer collaboration with the IOC, more expert advice and a range of other support from the very start of the process.

This process will be about making proposals that will deliver excellent Games, whilst also meeting the needs of the city to ensure the Games leave a positive, long-term, sustainable legacy.