India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recently unveiled its ambition to host the 2036 Olympics. This announcement marks a significant step in the nation’s sports journey, but the path to securing the hosting rights is a multifaceted process with several stages. This article delves into the intricate process that India must navigate to achieve its dream of hosting the Games.
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The Preliminary Steps
India’s intent to host the 2036 Olympics has initiated a series of critical steps. The Indian government and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) will collaborate to establish a joint committee to determine the way forward. However, it’s essential to understand that the decision to award the 2036 Olympics is not immediate and will not occur before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elections next year.
Multiple Hosting Options
One interesting aspect of India’s bid is the potential for hosting the Olympics in multiple cities, a regional context, or even as a “multi-nation” bid. This flexibility allows India to explore various options and choose the most suitable approach.
The Timeline for Awarding the Olympics
Past examples illustrate the variability in the timeline for awarding the Games. Tokyo and Paris were awarded the Olympics seven years before their respective events, while Brisbane secured the hosting rights for the 2032 Games 11 years in advance. For the 2036 Olympics, there is no strict deadline, and the decision may be deferred until as late as 2030.
According to Jacqueline Barrett, the Future Olympic Games Hosts Director, this delay is intentional, as the IOC aims to consider the rapidly changing global landscape, be it geopolitical, social, or economic, and assess how these factors may impact the Games in 2036. The final decision could rest with the IOC’s leadership following the 2025 elections, potentially delaying the verdict until 2026-27 or beyond.
Image Source: Los Angeles Times
The Stages of the Bidding Process
Before the IOC accepts a bid to host the Olympics, it goes through several distinct stages.
Continuous Dialogue Phase
The initial step is the “continuous dialogue phase” where a city or region expresses its interest in hosting the Games. This stage is non-committal and allows interested parties to explore the possibilities without making a binding commitment. The dialogue is not edition-specific, providing flexibility for future Olympics.
During this phase, the IOC examines the host’s vision, the long-term legacy they seek, and the development of a master plan, including the choice of venues and regions. The IOC is keen on understanding what the host aims to achieve in its local context and encourages uniqueness in hosting rather than following a template.
Targeted Dialogue Phase
Once a bid gains momentum and seriousness, it advances to the “targeted dialogue phase.” At this stage, the host city or region is recognized as a preferred host, and the dialogue becomes more structured. IOC officials may visit the potential host to assess infrastructure and other factors.
Barrett explains that during the targeted dialogue phase, the preferred host must answer a detailed questionnaire and provide guarantees to support their candidacy. These guarantees include over 20 commitments, encompassing infrastructure, accommodation, security, public services, and government support.
In line with the IOC’s vision to reduce hosting costs, there is a strong emphasis on using existing venues or temporary ones. This approach seeks to minimize the construction of new, expensive facilities. However, it’s noteworthy that India has not yet disclosed which city or region it intends to back for its Olympic bid.
Barrett emphasizes that there’s no set limit on the number of fans a venue must accommodate, underscoring the IOC’s goal of adapting to the changing nature of the Games and focusing on the future.
IOC President’s Perspective
IOC President Thomas Bach acknowledges India’s keen interest in hosting the Olympics and notes that there are serious considerations within the country. India’s improving performance in multi-sport events, such as the Asian Games, showcases its potential as a host. Bach appreciates the growth of Olympic sports in India, highlighting that the country has excelled in various disciplines, expanding beyond traditional strongholds like shooting.
Image Source: Olympics.com
While the ambition to host the Olympics is commendable, there are concerns to address. The postponement of the IOC session due to governance issues within the Indian Olympic Association and past corruption allegations related to the 2010 Commonwealth Games have raised questions about India’s preparedness.
Bach believes that the issues surrounding the 2010 Commonwealth Games are unlikely to play a role in India’s bid, as the India of today is vastly different from the India of 2010. However, he emphasizes the importance of the Indian Olympic Association getting its governance in order, as it is the essential agency for Olympic candidature in India.
Image Source: The Financial Express
In conclusion, India’s journey to secure the hosting rights for the 2036 Olympics is a multifaceted and time-consuming process. It involves various stages, including continuous and targeted dialogue, along with the need to provide extensive guarantees. The country’s ability to leverage existing venues and adapt to the changing landscape of the Games will be crucial in realizing its Olympic dream. While challenges exist, India’s enthusiasm and commitment to hosting the Olympics in 2036 serve as a testament to the nation’s growing presence in the world of sports.