Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last week, said that India is ready to bid for hosting the 2036 Olympics. Modi was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 141st International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai.
On Sunday, IOC announced said that a decision on the city that would stage the 2036 Summer Olympics will only be taken in 2026 or 2027. The committee also added that it will elect its new president in 2025. Currently the presidentship is held with Thomas Bach.
The committee has additionally cautioned nations that, if they bar athletes from participating in sports events for political motives, they might jeopardise their aspirations of hosting the Olympic Games.
India, along with numerous other countries, has been eyeing to host the upcoming Games. Paris is slated to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, followed by Los Angeles for the 2028 Games. Brisbane, Australia, has secured the opportunity to host the 2032 Olympics. Additionally, Poland, Mexico, and Indonesia have shown interest in bidding for these Games.
Who selects the Olympic host?
The IOC is the organisation tasked with choosing the host city. It comprises 99 member nations, each with its IOC representative, typically a former Olympian or athlete. Nita Ambani, the Chairperson of Reliance Foundation, serves as India's representative within the IOC.
Two permanent 'Future Host Commissions' are responsible for supervising the process, one dedicated to the summer Games and the other focused on the winter Games. “Both are gender-balanced and represent a full range of Olympic stakeholders, including athletes, International Federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC),” the IOC website states.
The IOC explains that the Commissions “constantly monitor and analyse the projects and provide feasibility assessments” to the countries who bid for becoming the host. This, they say, will help save costs and give a fair chance for all to host Olympics-related events.
What are the steps that a bid must undergo before being accepted by the IOC?
According to the IOC website, upon receiving a letter from a city or region expressing its desire to host a forthcoming edition of the Olympics, the IOC initiates a “continuous dialogue phase” with them.
When a bid shows a strong commitment to advancing to the next stage, it will move into the "targeted dialogue phase," at which point a city or region will be recognised as the favoured host city.
As part of Targeted Dialogue, each preferred host will provide answers to the IOC’s questionnaire in the form of an initial submission. It will also be requested to provide guarantees that back up its submission. These guarantees include infrastructure guarantees, accommodation agreements, security guarantees, public services guarantee, government services guarantee etc.
How are the final elections held?
The Future Host Commissions provide suggestions to the IOC Executive Board (EB) concerning potential future host locations based on the previous stages. The EB consists of the IOC President, four Vice-Presidents, and ten other members. All members of the EB are chosen through a secret ballot vote, with a majority decision by the IOC Session, and they serve a four-year term.
The EB take a call by selecting potential hosts following the recommendation by the commission, and finally, the IOC voting happens.
The honorary members and suspended members are not allowed to vote. If a majority is not achieved in the first round of voting, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and a further round or rounds of voting are held until a majority is obtained by one candidate, the website notes.
India and international game events
Although India has never hosted Olympics Games in the past, it has hosted several international sports events in the past few decades. Some of the significant international sports events hosted by India include the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games, the Hockey World Cup, the Cricket World Cup, and the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games, which took place in Delhi, marked a significant moment in India's sports history, seeing the participation of athletes from 71 nations across 21 sports. Another noteworthy event was the 1982 Asian Games held in Delhi, where more than 4,000 athletes from 33 countries competed.