Tuesday released its list of applicants interested in bidding to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games, and in its statement emphasized existing interest in bidding for 2030 as well - including from the United States.
The seven NOCs are Austria (Graz), Canada (Calgary), Italy (joint bid of Cortina d'Ampezzo/Milan/Turin), Sweden (Stockholm), Switzerland (Sion), Turkey (Erzurum) and Japan, which, with Sapporo, will aim to host its third Winter Games.
Former host Salt Lake City is considered the US front runner from among other interested cities Denver and Reno, due to it's existing legacy from the 2002 Games.
It will elect the winning bid at its session in Milan in September 2019. Cortina is also a former host, having organised the 1956 Winter Olympics as is Turin in 2006.
The IOC will allow cities to begin bidding in October with a January deadline.
He lauded Calgary's "expertise", "incredible assets" and explained that careful budgeting "to the last detail" will help control the risk of cost overruns.
"The IOC has turned the page with regard to Olympic candidatures", explained IOC President Thomas Bach. He said that would include looking at the numbers from Vancouver in 2010 and to factor in realistic figures looking ahead to 2026.
After the success, hype and record viewership of PyeongChang 2018, International Olympic Committee member countries are now gaining confidence to foray into organizing the winter edition of IOC's quadrennial event.
"This partnership is an exciting step towards determining if a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is right for Calgary", said Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary, last week.
Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm require host cities to have a large number of facilities already in place which can be sustained after the Games whilst public support of the bid must also be strong.