Winter Olympics 2026: Latest Developments

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Following a Referendum, which was held on 15 October 2017, the Austrian City of Innsbruck has withdrawn its candidature to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

53.35% of those who voted across the 29 municipalities comprising the Tyrol rejected the proposal to host the Games. The turnout was 58.43% of those eligible to vote in the Referendum.

This result comes in the wake of several other European Cities that have withdrawn their bids to host the Winter and Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2022 and 2024 respectively, having lost their respective Referendums.

The Innsbruck withdrawal must come as a blow to the IOC, who, on 17 October 2017, launched a new streamlined bidding process for the 2026 Winter Games.

This new approach is in line with the so-called ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ – the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement – and will involve less bureaucracy and lead to a significant reduction in the high costs of bidding for the Games.

The 2026 Host City Contract will be published in July 2018 and will contain an IOC contribution to the success of the Games estimated at US$ 925 million. The IOC will also provide technical assistance and know-how, free of charge, to enable the candidate cities to develop their bids.

Further details of the new two-stage bidding process will be found in the IOC Press Release of 17 October 2017, which may be accessed on line at ‘’.

Currently, there are potential bidders to host the 2026 Winter Games from Asia, Europe and North America and the successful candidate will be selected at 134th IOC Session to be held in July 2019 in Milan, Italy.


Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘’