Erzurum suggests holding 2026 Winter Olympics jointly with Sochi
Erzurum Governor Seyfettin Azizoglu has suggested the possibility of holding sliding events at the 2026 Winter Olympics in Sochi should the Turkish city succeed with its bid for the Games, Inside the Games reported.
The governor raised the prospect of holding bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events in Sochi to Russia's ambassador to Turkey Aleksei Erkhov. It came during a visit from Erkhov to Erzurum last week, with the ambassador also heading to the cities of Trabzon and Kars.
"We're working hard to get the Olympics. We are thinking about making Erzurum together with Sochi," he noted. "There are facilities in Sochi but not in Erzurum. It's a little expensive investment. These facilities are in Sochi, so we can do it together," Hürriyet cited Azizoglu as saying.
While involvement of Sochi is likely to prove controversial, the sliding centre in Russia is the closest located to Erzurum.
Erzurum would need to find a sliding centre for their bid, with the possibility to staging the event in an existing venue a strong possibility.
Stockholm has suggested they would hold sliding sports at the existing track at Sigulda in Latvia.
Calgary unveiled plans earlier this month. The city faces a plebiscite on November 13, which could rule them out of the race should the public vote against proceeding with a bid.
Stockholm’s effort is also uncertain due to a perceived lack of political support, while Italy are now proceeding with a two-way bid between Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. It followed the withdrawal of Turin from their initial plan.
The shortlist will be confirmed by the International Olympic Committee at its Session in Buenos Aires next month.
A host city for the 2026 Games is due to be elected next year.