Date: April 5, 2018

Seven bidders for 2026

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By IIHF.com

Seven National Olympic Committees have officially expressed their interest in organizing the 2026 Olympic Winter Games until the 31 March deadline.

The candidate cities for 2026 are:
Austria: Graz
Canada: Calgary
Italy: Cortina d’Ampezzo/Milan/Turin
Japan: Sapporo
Sweden: Stockholm
Switzerland: Sion
Turkey: Erzurum

“I warmly welcome the NOCs’ and cities’ interest in hosting the Olympic Winter Games. The IOC has turned the page with regard to Olympic candidatures. Our goal is not just to have a record number of candidates, but ultimately it is to select the best city to stage the best Olympic Winter Games for the best athletes of the world,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

These interested cities and NOCs will continue with the new Dialogue Stage in which the IOC provides NOCs with greater support, technical advice, communications assistance and materials to develop the best possible candidature. The new approach enables cities to create the most feasible, legacy-enhancing Olympic Games possible. During the Dialogue Stage, the IOC will work together with the cities and NOCs to narrow the field and ultimately produce the best possible host city.

The New Norm will also afford increased flexibility in designing Games that meet the long-term development goals of the city, region and country. The seven-year preparation journey has been significantly simplified, and hosts will receive more support from the IOC and the wider Olympic Movement. Legacy is a priority from the very start of the planning through to final delivery and well beyond. The implementation of the IOC’s reforms will ensure that these elements are incorporated across the board and monitored from the earliest stages of Games planning and organisation.

Further NOCs consider bidding for 2030 and beyond including the United States Olympic Committee.

“It’s no surprise that so many incredible cities have come forward to compete for the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 and 2030,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The reforms laid out by Olympic Agenda 2020 created a clean, clear candidature process for Los Angeles, and many cities from around the world will benefit from these reforms as they bid in the coming months.”

The host city for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 will be selected by the IOC Session in September 2019.

Juma Al Dhaheri excited to lead Abu Dhabi Storms in Arab Clubs Championship ice hockey tournament

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By Amith Passela – The National

Ice hockey continues to spread its wings in the Middle East and North Africa region as the inaugural Arab Clubs Championship gets under way at Abu Dhabi Ice Rink in Zayed Sports City on Tuesday.

The four-day competition, organised by the UAE Ice Sports Federation and to be played in a league format, includes five teams from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and the UAE. Abu Dhabi Storms, the Emirates Hockey League (EHL) team consisting of a majority of the national team players, play hosts.

“The visiting teams comprise mainly of expatriate players from ice hockey-playing nations and it should be a good experience for us, particularly the Emirati players,” UAE and Storms captain Juma Al Dhaheri said.

“Our team also comprise semi-professional players, but we’ll try to provide the Emirati players more opportunities. We expect the visiting teams to be very strong and expect some close games.”

Al Dhaheri said the competition provides an ideal platform to his team as they keep an eye on the EHL play-offs, which starts on April 10.

“It will certainly help the Storms team, and if successful, we can take that momentum forward to our domestic league.”

Team Lebanon who took part in the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi in December will be in action against Alger Corsaires of Algeria in the opening match followed by the Storms versus Pharaohs of Egypt. Carthage Eagles from Tunisia is the fifth team.

Federation vice-president Hamad Al Qubaisi said the event is another step forward in its vision develop and popularise the sport in the region.

“We have had a few clubs in the region playing in one-off competitions every now and then,” Al Qubaisi said. “We hope this tournament will be an annual one in our calendar of events, and a platform to further develop the sport not only in the UAE but in the Arab countries.”