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Volume 24 No. 217

Olympics

The IOC in touring Calgary this week made it clear that it is "committed to reducing the financial burden on potential host cities" for the Winter Games, according to Shawn Logan of the CALGARY HERALD. Calgary has been "cautiously reviewing whether to bid" on the '26 Games. IOC Olympic Games Exec Dir Christophe Dubi, who was not in Calgary, yesterday in a conference call said that the organization "continues to work on making the global spectacle leaner and more cost effective." Dubi: “We want to make sure contrary to what we’ve done in the past, we don’t start too early, too big. We have to make sure we can modify this so in the future we don’t over-design or over-build. We have to be more agile and more flexible, and make sure we do things in the most appropriate way.” Dubi added that the IOC has "made strong efforts to scale back its demands on host cities." He said, “We are going into every single detail to see if we can make them smaller or different. We don’t necessarily need new venues. I think you see with the Paris and L.A. bids, they’re using a lot of existing infrastructure” (CALGARY HERALD, 1/18).

TAKING IT DOWN A NOTCH: The GLOBE & MAIL's Carrie Tait notes the IOC is "willing to relax its standards related to everything from spectator-capacity requirements to security plans in an effort to lure potential host cities." Dubi is "confident Olympic costs can drop -- a step necessary to convince skeptical cities to jump into auctions for the Games." He said that the IOC will "no longer dictate minimum spectator capacity at venues." Dubi added that the size of the areas around venues will "also be flexible" and security checks with magnetic wands and bag searches "could be redesigned." Dubi: "You cut one mag-and-bag, you cut energy, you cut technology" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/18). The CP's Lauren Krugel noted IOC officials have "already visited other potential contenders" for the '26 Games -- Sion, Switzerland and Stockholm -- and "plan to go to Sapporo, Japan just before" the Pyeongchang Games (CP, 1/17).