IOC in Sapporo to assess venues for 2030 Winter Games

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Tokyo (AFP) – International Olympic Committee officials on Tuesday began inspecting competition venues in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, considered one of the first to host the 2030 Winter Games.

During their three-day visit, the IOC delegation will also review road access to and around Sapporo, which was the first Asian city to host a Winter Olympics in 1972.

A city official told AFP that the visit was “as part of our ongoing dialogue” with the IOC and that “we also hope to receive technical advice” from the organization.

The three-member team plans to visit 16 sites in the Hokkaido region, of which Sapporo is the capital.

Sapporo hosted the marathon and race walk events at the Tokyo Summer Games last year so athletes could compete in a cooler climate.

Tokyo 2020 went ahead after a year of pandemic delay and faced public opposition in the months leading up to the event, which was held mostly without spectators due to Covid-19 fears.

Sapporo is seen as a top contender for 2030 but is likely to face rival offers from other previous Olympic hosts such as Salt Lake City and Vancouver.

The IOC is expected to announce the host city at its general assembly in a year’s time.

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