International Olympic Committee members voted Sunday to allow a double allocation of two successive Winter Games in 2030 and 2034.
IOC chiefs had hoped to award the 2030 Winter Olympics during a Mumbai session starting on Sunday.
But problems regarding potential hosts have delayed the IOC’s plans, with longstanding 2030 favourite Sapporo officially withdrawing after a collapse in public support in Japan following the Tokyo 2020 corruption scandals.
IOC president Thomas Bach, speaking at this week’s executive board meeting in Mumbai, said a preliminary study by the IOC’s future host commission had found that by 2040 only 10 nations would be able to host the snow events of an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games under existing criteria due to climate change.
Natural snow is in increasingly short supply in some regions due to rising temperatures, with a lack of available water for snow-making threatening the existence of the global snow-sport industry.
There were several abstentions in the vote by the raising of hand.
But the plan for a double award — similar to the 2017 vote that gave the 2024 and 2029 Games to Paris and Los Angeles respectively — was passed.
Supporters of the proposal argued such a move would give the commission stability in assessing the prospects for winter sport.
Before Sunday’s vote, commission head Karl Stoss of Austria said three countries were interested in staging the 2030 Winter Olympics, with Sweden, Switzerland and France leading the way.
Salt Lake City in the United States would prefer 2034, to create more of a gap between that event and the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
Co-shared Games between nations or regions, or World Championships doubling up with the Olympic Games were two of the ideas put forward by Stoss.
However, he said preserving the “uniqueness” of the Olympic Games was a top priority.
In his speech, Stoss used the phrase “nice to have, or need to have” as a way of emphasising the need to keep on top of budgets, with a “decentralised” approach required to cut costs.