Sapporo's chances of hosting the 2034 Winter Olympics got even slimmer Sunday, when the International Olympic Committee decided to choose the 2030 and 2034 hosts at the same time, likely next summer.

On Wednesday, Sapporo, the 1972 host, officially withdrew its bid to host the Winter Olympics for a second time in 2030, citing a lack of enthusiasm for hosting following the bid-rigging and bribery scandals surrounding 2021's Tokyo Olympics.

JOC President Yasuhiro Yamashita had proposed that Sapporo bid for 2034 or later, and Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto agreed to the plan.

But this IOC decision to select the two hosts simultaneously leaves Sapporo little time to mount a 2034 bid.

Bids from Sweden and France are likely contenders to host in 2030, while Salt Lake City, Utah, is currently a strong candidate to host in 2034.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach speaks at an IOC session in Mumbai, India, on Oct. 15, 2023. (Photo courtesy of IOC)(Kyodo)

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