IOC President Thomas Bach said Tuesday that there is no "plan B" if 2026 Winter Games bids from Stockholm and Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo are withdrawn, "reiterating that Sapporo is not a fallback option," according to Joel Fitzpatrick of KYODO. Bach acknowledged that "challenges to both bids remain," but said that the Swedish and Italian options remain "excellent projects" that are in line with the IOC's "cost-cutting" Olympic Agenda 2020. Bach said, "We have no plan B, there is no plan B. There is great use of existing facilities (in the Swedish and Italian bids), it is about traditional winter sports countries and areas and they still have to work, one way or the other, to convince everybody to come together. This we have to acknowledge." On the prospect of Sapporo, which originally threw its hat into the '26 ring before "shifting its focus" to a '30 bid, "coming to the rescue," Bach said that "it is not an option and that it did not come up when he spoke to Sapporo Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto" (KYODO, 11/27).
'CONSTRUCTIVE AND POSITIVE': INSIDE THE GAMES' Michael Pavitt reported Stockholm 2026 claimed a recent meeting with politicians proved what could be the start of a "collaborative process" as their efforts to secure support for their Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games bid continues. Representatives from the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) and the Swedish Parasport Federation met "key politicians" last week. Stockholm 2026 Bid Leader Richard Brisius said, "It was a constructive and positive meeting allowing us to inform, ask questions and discuss all the changes and new ways of arranging the Olympic Games. It was a good meeting and it felt like it was the start of a collaborative process that will continue in the future" (INSIDE THE GAMES, 11/26).