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Sunday 21 April 2019
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14 Jan 2019
Bids are in for 2026 Winter Olympic Games – Stockholm and Milan to contest two-horse race

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received official submissions from two bid teams for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

The arrival of the two candidature files – from Stockholm-Åre in Sweden and Milan-Cortina in Italy – at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne will come as a relief for the Olympic movement, following a difficult run-up to the 2026 bid deadline.

Seven cities had officially entered the bidding process in September 2017 – Milan, Stockholm, Calgary (Canada), Erzurum (Turkey), Sapporo (Japan), Graz (Austria) and Sion (Switzerland) – but failures to win over the support of local populations and governments saw five candidates pull out of the race.

At times, it seemed that there might be no bids at all, as both Stockholm and Milan experienced difficulties in securing support locally.

Stockholm's bid came under threat in October 2018, when a newly-elected Stockholm City Government announced that no taxpayer money should be "wasted" on hosting the Games.

The Italian bid originally included three cities – Turin, Milan and Cortina – but collapsed due to divisions between the three city governments. Milan and Cortina then decided to "rescue" the bid and go it alone but also experienced difficulties to secure level of funding support.

As a result of the recent disinterest in cities hosting Olympics Games – both summer and winter – the IOC has been forced to re-adjust its bidding processes.

The bids from Stockholm and Milan are the first candidature files produced since the Olympic Agenda 2020/The New Norm was approved by the IOC Session in February 2018 – designed to "deliver substantial benefits to the cities and their projects".

There has been an emphasis on lowering the costs of hosting Games and IOC has conceded that cities should be allowed to use existing infrastructure, rather than invest in expensive, new Olympic stadiums and facilities.

This has led to the two bid plans for 2026 using – on average – 80 per cent existing or temporary venues, compared to 60 per cent among the candidates for the Olympic Winter Games 2018 and 2022.

In addition, the initial Games operating costs projected by Stockholm and Milan are around 20 per cent (approximately US$400m) lower than those in the two previous candidature processes.

“With these two traditional sports countries as candidates, we see the very positive impact of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms," said Octavian Morariu, chair of the IOC Evaluation Commission.

"Both countries have vast experience in organising World Cups and World Championships, with existing infrastructure and experienced operators. This has allowed the candidates to reduce the investment needed and increase the sustainability of their projects.”

The IOC Evaluation Commission will visit the cities later this year, with the commission’s report being made public ahead of the host city election, which will take place in June during the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland.


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18 Apr 2019
GWI’s ATM agenda to focus on medical and wellness tourism
The agenda for the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) Wellness Symposium at the 2019 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has been set and will feature experts in both medical tourism and wellness tourism, who will explore emerging trends and opportunities in both sectors.
18 Apr 2019
Finalists revealed for largest ever ukactive Awards
Ukactive has revealed the finalists for its annual industry awards – with this year's edition declared as the largest ever.
17 Apr 2019
Body image revealed as theme for 2019 Mental Health Awareness Week
The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has chosen body image as the theme for this year's Mental Health Awareness Week.
14 Apr 2019
Healing Hotels' Anne Biging receives ‘Woman of the Decade’ award from Women’s Economic Forum
Anne Biging, co-founder and CEO of Healing Hotels of the World, has been named ‘Woman of the Decade in Business & Leadership’ at the Women’s Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi, India.
08 Apr 2019
World Leisure now accepting applications for Innovation Prize
World Leisure Organization (WLO) is now accepting applications for the 8th edition of the World Leisure International Innovation Prize.
05 Apr 2019
Elevate signs up Metro Blind Sport as charity partner to promote inclusivity
The organiser of physical activity trade show Elevate has signed up Metro Blind Sport as its charity partner for this year's event.
03 Apr 2019
EHFF 2019: European fitness market still growing
The European fitness market continues to grow at a steady rate, according to the latest European Health & Fitness Market Report, published in partnership by Deloitte and EuropeActive.
28 Mar 2019
Second annual Women in Wellness Leadership Conference inspires professional growth
Approximately 250 women attended American Spa’s second Women in Wellness Leadership Conference at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on 12 March.
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Diary dates
24-25 Apr 2019
FUTR (Formerly Millennial 20/20)
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Asia Pool & Spa Expo 2019
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