Olympics: IOC focusing 2024/28 Games allocations possibility and more bid process modifications
LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s Executive Board (EB) announced today that the four Vice-Presidents have been entrusted to study making changes in the bid process including the possible allocations of both the 2024 and 2028 Games in this single campaign race. This includes John D. Coates (AUS), AC, Zaiqing Yu (CHN), Juan Antonio Samaranch (ESP), and Uğur Erdener (TUR).
The IOC wound up with two high level cities, Los Angeles and Paris, after Budapest recently pulled out of the race. Budapest attributed their ability to campaign to the new rulings of Agenda 2020 allowing for more flexibility to the bidding requirements.
However now we have a situation where they are left with two extremely capable cities and IOC Thomas Bach explained the new strategy at the end of EB meetings at the next host city PyeongChang, South Korea.
He said, "The future of the candidature procedure was also discussed today in a very constructive spirit. As a follow-up to Olympic agenda 2020 and the first steps that we have already taken last year in RIO, where we had the results of the working group on future Olympic winter games, there were some changes and some ideas, which were already indicated and approved by the session.
"The EB today agreed that we will explore changes in this direction - to make them more concrete. Therefore, we have established a Working Group which consists of the four IOC Vice Presidents which have the task to explore such changes and then to come back to the EB.
"The exploration should be with the view to make the candidature procedure - as already indicated in decisions we have taken before - more pro-active, more collaborative and less expensive in the future.
"After we have received the report in the EB, the IOC
Members will have the opportunity to discuss these recommendations in July this
year when we have the briefing with the candidate cities."
Bach also explained the scope of the Working Group's mandate and its place in the 2024 procedure, "Everything is on the table. And this was exactly what we have discussed in the Board. On the one hand, we have said there can and will be no decision, on the other hand, no option is off the table. So, all the options are on the table and this includes also the 2024/28 procedure and vote."
The President also noted on any issues the Working Group could come across and if changes to the Olympic Charter could happen before the next decisive IOC session in Lima, Peru.
He explained, "First of all, what we discussed is that we have an opportunity. That we have two excellent candidates from two major Olympic countries, two candidatures which are embracing Olympic Agenda 2020 very much with the great use of existing facilities, with therefore very low investment budgets, with a modern approach to the Games, with great attractivity for the youth.
"This is the position you like to be in.
"Even more so if you look at the world in this moment, where
we can see a lot of instability, a lot of fragility, a lot of uncertainty.
Where we can see many, many changes. Therefore, with this situation, we are in
a comfortable position. Now it will be up to the Working Group how to best
explore this positive situation and to see what it means.
"With regards to timing, this again will be up to the Working Group. If they come back saying that it is better to make no change then it is done and we will make no change. When they are coming back with a different proposal it will depend on how far the change is going. At this moment, I cannot speculate on this. It will be up to the four Vice Presidents not only to tell us about a solution but also about a timeframe and the feasibility as such."
The issue remains whether the IOC members could be able to vote on the proposals coming out of the Working Group, "This will depend on the changes being proposed. If the Working Group comes back and says the world is perfect, then we may not need to vote on the proposal. If the changes should be more in the regulations, there would also no vote be required.
"If the changes would reach further then there would be a
vote. In case of doubt, I would always be in favor of a vote and a
participation by the members on such an essential issue."
As to how this might work with the two bid cities Los Angeles and Paris, "The consultation will be up to the Working Group to decide and I guess - again - it will depend on their ideas. If their idea is no change, then no reason to consult.
"If their idea is it could be an opportunity, then they may
consider to consult. This is up to them."
Bach then took note of how this would be done according to the Olympic Charter, " I am one of the co-authors of the Charter. I know that the Charter is offering some flexibility there. Not only in this respect but in general.
"Because with a Charter you always have to have room for interpretation to adapt to changing times.
"So, my feeling is, and I am speaking here under the supervision of the Chair of the Legal Commission of the IOC, my interpretation is, that the Charter is flexible enough also in this respect."
The final decision on the host of the 2024 summer Games is set to take place September 13th in Lima, Peru. At this point anything can happen.
**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.
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