April 3, 2018 / 11:01 AM / 6 months ago

Olympics-Seven cities confirm interest in 2026 winter Games-IOC

April 3 (Reuters) - Seven cities, or joint-bidding cities, have expressed interest in hosting the 2026 winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday.

Canada’s Calgary, Austria’s Graz, Swedish capital Stockholm, Sion in Switzerland, Turkey’s Erzurum, Japan’s Sapporo and a joint bid from Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo, Milan and Turin are all in the initial process.

The cities will now enter a dialogue stage until October when the IOC will invite an unspecified number of them to take part in the one-year candidature phase.

The IOC has overhauled the bidding process for Games after a sharp slump in interest from potential cities in recent years, cutting costs for bid cities and slashing the campaign time in half.

It will elect the winning bid at its session in Milan in September 2019.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Mitch Phillips

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