Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto and Japanese Olympic Association (JOC) President Yasuhiro Yamashita revealed their decision to withdraw from the 2030 bid for Sapporo. The primary reason is the diminished backing from the local populace.
This loss of support can be traced back to the corruption scandals associated with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that came to light last year, which eroded the trust of the citizens. “We could not gain understanding from the citizens. There has been a widespread sense of uneasiness among the citizens about the criminal cases related to the 2020 Tokyo Games, and they are also worried about their financial burden for hosting the games,” Akimoto told reporters.
Meanwhile IOC Member and Judo gold medalist Yamashita added that he suggested the bid drop because he was afraid that “our pursuit of the bidding process may irreparably damage the value of the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, and sport.”
The aforementioned officials have conveyed their intention to persist in exploring Sapporo’s potential candidacy for the 2034 or subsequent editions. Their discussions regarding the 2034 bid are perceived as an effort to maintain a semblance of dignity. Mayor Akimoto stressed that undertaking a bid for the 2034 Olympics would present notable challenges. Without a doubt, one could say that the scandal has significantly marred the reputation of the Olympic movement in Japan.
Vancouver in Canada, like Sapporo, withdrew its bid due to insufficient government backing. Several other nations, including the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, and France, have expressed their interest in hosting the Winter Olympics. Stockholm is the most favorite bid for the 2030 Olympics as of now
Furthermore, Salt Lake City in the United States is considering a bid for the 2034 edition to avoid close proximity to the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) originally scheduled the host city selection for this month’s IOC Session in Mumbai but has postponed the decision until the following year due to complications and issues with the prospective host cities.