International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach addresses the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, China on Feb. 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Can)
IOC president Thomas Bach said multiple NOCs and regions are interested in organizing the Olympic Games in 2036.
BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- As part of the Olympic Agenda 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) implemented an Invitation Phase starting from 2015 to elect future hosts for Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.
Will China have the chance to host another Olympic Games with this new approach?
"Candidatures from China are always the most welcomed," IOC president Thomas Bach told Xinhua on Saturday during a five-day visit to China.
"But right now we have already allocated the hosts until 2032, so China still has some time to think about the next candidature, which will be 2036," the IOC chief said. "But I'm very sure and really looking forward to many major international sports events taking place in China in the coming years."
Having hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games over the past 15 years, China has written its own chapter in the history of the Olympic Movement.
In the following months, China will host the Chengdu Universiade and the Hangzhou Asian Games, bringing international multi-sport events back to the country after Beijing 2022.
Bach (R) poses for a selfie with a volunteer of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the Main Media Center in Beijing, China on Feb. 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Yibo)
With multiple World Cup and World Championships series of different sports taking place in China throughout 2023, Bach believes it "shows the great confidence the world of international sports has in China as a host and organizer and how much we all appreciate the warm hospitality of the Chinese people."
Bach also revealed that there are "already a two-digit number of interested National Olympic Committees or regions who want to organize the Olympic Games in 2036."
"There is still some time to go. We will maybe have a better feeling how the world will look like in 2036 than we do at this very moment now."
Due to climate change and its negative impact on winter sports, the IOC announced in December last year that it will not be targeting a 2030 Olympic Winter Games host election at the 140th IOC Session in 2023. But Bach indicated that the election "will happen next year."
"By then we will have a clearer picture on the overall impact of climate change and the other challenges winter sports are facing," he added. ■