Turkey's Erzurum joins race for hosting 2026 Winter Olympics

Turkey's Erzurum joins race for hosting 2026 Winter Olympics

PanARMENIAN.Net - Erzurum in Turkey has been officially nominated as a candidate for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, Inside the Games says.

Habertürk said a bid from the Eastern resort had been given the backing of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It comes with the deadline to express interest to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expiring on Saturday, March 31.

Mustafa Ilıcalı, an official for Erzurum representing Erdogan's ruling AK Party, confirmed the news on his Twitter page.

"I would like to extend my gratitude to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and my Government for the support of Erzurum for the official candidacy application for the 2026 Winter Olympics," he said.

A visit by Erdogan to Erzurum on March 16 reportedly proved key and Turkish media say the country's National Olympic Committee have also been informed.

It means the country is set to mount its first-ever Winter Olympic and Paralympic bid.

Calgary in Canada, Graz and Schladming in Austria, Sapporo in Japan, Sion in Switzerland and Stockholm in Sweden are other interested cities.

Istanbul finished second behind Tokyo in the race for the 2020 Summer edition.

Erzurum also hosted the Winter Universiade in 2011 and a first International Ski Federation Snowboard World Cup was held there this year.

The resort staged last year's European Winter Youth Olympic Festival.

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