LAUSANNE Switzerland (Reuters) - Bidding for the Olympics will become cheaper, easier and more attractive while sports will enter the Games quicker, the IOC said on Tuesday, presenting the biggest changes in decades in the way the Games are organised and run.
“We have to look into the future and try to address the challenges which may arise in the future and the challenges we have already now,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, presenting the IOC’s 40 recommendations.
“We want to show with this procedure that the IOC is opening up, that we are opening a window and we want to have fresh wind coming in,” he told reporters.
The IOC set up working groups, combing through 40,0000 submissions of suggestions for change through their open call for ideas. The proposals will be voted on in December.
Bid cities will no longer need to abide by extensive prerequisites or carry the considerable financial burden.
Four of the six cities bidding for the 2022 winter Games dropped out, fearful of costs and a lack of support, denting the Games’ reputation as a lucrative project.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the organization of the Olympic Games,” said Bach, adding the IOC would foot part of the bill for bidding, including paying for evaluation commission visits.
Future hosts can also stage events outside the city or even outside the country for reasons of sustainability, breaking with a long Olympic tradition of one host city/nation.
Sports will also not wait seven years from approval to their Olympic first appearance, and instead could be brought in for just one Olympics to maximize the Games’ reach and attraction.
The first Games to benefit could be the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with organizers pushing for the inclusion of baseball and softball.
Organising committees can propose the addition of “one or more additional events” after their city is elected for that one edition of the Games, with the Games program becoming more events-based rather than sports-based.
The IOC can also propose new events, Bach said, with the only limit to the games size being the 10,500 athletes and not the current 28 sports.
“Now the door is open (for sports). The IOC by itself can also take a decision that we are adding this or that event,” Bach said.
The IOC will also vote on the creation of an Olympic broadcast channel that will benefit by the moving of the Youth Olympics (summer and winter) to a non-Olympic year from 2023.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Justin Palmer