After Graz and Sion, Sapporo has also withdrawn as a potential candidate city for the 2026 Winter Olympics. The remaining interested NOCs in the dialogue phase are Canada (Calgary), Italy (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Milan and Turin), Turkey (Erzurum) and Sweden (Stockholm).
Press release by the International Olympic Committee:
THE IOC ONCE AGAIN EXPRESSED ITS SYMPATHY FOR THE VICTIMS AND FAMILIES OF ALL THOSE AFFECTED BY THE RECENT EARTHQUAKE IN HOKKAIDO, JAPAN, WHICH HAS LEFT 41 DEAD AND CAUSED CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE, WITH MANY STILL IN TEMPORARY SHELTERS. FOR THIS REASON, THE CITY OF SAPPORO, THE JAPANESE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE AND THE IOC AGREED TODAY THAT THE IOC WOULD NOT PUT SAPPORO ON THE LIST OF CANDIDATES FOR THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES 2026, BUT TO CONTINUE WITH THE CLOSE DIALOGUE ALREADY UNDERWAY FOR THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES 2030.
The IOC expressed its understanding that recovery from the earthquake in the region should be the immediate principle focus but greatly appreciated the continued strong commitment as a future host for the Olympic Winter Games.
The announcement came today following a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, between representatives of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), the City of Sapporo, and the International Olympic Committee. It follows months of close collaboration during the Dialogue Stage of the Olympic Winter Games 2026 Candidature Process.
As part of the new Candidature Process, a one-year non-committal Dialogue Stage was introduced to provide Interested Cities and National Olympic Committees with an opportunity to interact with the IOC and discuss how hosting the Games can serve their long-term goals and leave lasting legacies.
The City of Sapporo and the Japanese NOC made it clear that they remain strongly interested in a candidature for the Olympic Winter Games 2030.