IOC President Thomas Bach said here Wednesday that the dramatic change to the bidding process will not have a negative impact upon the future Olympic Games.
“If you see the proposals of the working group, one of the first proposals was to maintain the magic of the Games,” he said at a press conference after the three-day IOC Session.
All the changes to the rules were based on the recommendations of a working group led by Australia’s IOC member John Coats.
Bach pointed out that staging the Olympic Games in one city is still the IOC’s first choice.
“We want to make it clear that we are preferring our candidatures where the cities are making use of existing facilities or temporary facilities. Then the closer, the better.”
Under the reforms, a flexible timeline has been installed by removing from the Olympic Charter the requirement for the host city to be elected seven years in advance.
Bach said this will give the IOC and potential bidding cities a second chance if there is an accident like Japanese city Sapparo, which was forced to withdraw their bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics after being hit by an earthquake.
“Sapparo unforunately had to withdraw from the 2026 race. We were made aware of their intention by then to be a candidate in 2030. With the new procedure, we can start having conservation with Sapporo and other interested cities.”
The IOC president said that the reforms will give potential candidates more room for manoeuvre facing unfavourable environments.
“This new procedure is to avoid eliminating potential candidates. We want to have good candidates and to give them the appropriate time to organize the Games. If they have not won once, we want them to come back in four or eight years,” said Bach.