By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
India’s sport officials are committed to ramping up an aggressive 2032 Olympic Games bid, but not until after the current coronavirus pandemic shutdown ends.
Plans include a run at the 2026 Youth Olympic Games and hosting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) All-members session in Mumbai in 2023 as crucial parts of an overall sports roadmap for the nation.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Chief Narinder Batra told AFP Friday “we are serious and definitely pitching for the 2026 Youth Olympic Games and the 2032 Olympics.”
In March, the IOC Executive Board chose Mumbai to host the 2023 Session, and the decision is expected to be approved by a membership vote the next time the organization meets.
But Batra said much of the work will need to wait until the fight against Covid-19 ends as India extended its current lockdown Friday for at least another two weeks.
“Now there is a team that visits the various venues and you keep talking to them and then they submit a report.,” Batra said.
“It is a continuous process which I believe will see no activity until December.
“This is not the time to talk with business houses or government about pitching for the Olympics. The first thing should be how we sort out this problem which has come into the world.”
Traditionally the IOC has elected host cities seven years prior to the opening ceremonies which would put the 2032 vote in 2025. But last year new IOC reforms dropped all timelines and President Thomas Bach indicated that the new Summer Games host could be elected as early as next year.
A bid by Australia’s Southeast Queensland is considered the front runner in the race after officially entering last December, and officials had said they intended to file bid documents ahead of the now-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics that were to be held this July.
Now with the Games delayed a year it has become apparent that all bid activities will also be pushed back.
Active interest in bidding had also emerged from Jakarta in Indonesia and jointly between capitals Seoul and Pyongyang on the Korean Peninsula. Shanghai in China and a regional bid from Germany also discussed possible interest in pursuing the Games.
Paris is scheduled to host the 2024 Games and Los Angeles is already preparing for the 2028 edition.