IOC proposes changes for Olympic bids and events

Lausanne, Switzerland (SportsNetwork.com) - The International Olympic Committee introduced an agenda Tuesday that could lead to changes in the bidding process for future Olympics and the staging of the Games themselves.

IOC president Thomas Bach revealed a list of 40 proposals that will be discussed and voted on by the full membership this December in Monaco.

"These 40 recommendations are like a jigsaw puzzle," said Bach. "The full picture is an IOC that safeguards the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and strengthens sport in society."

Among the ideas was a proposal to make the bidding process more of a collaborative effort with potential host cities. The "invitation phase" would allow cities considering a bid to present an Olympic project that fits their sporting, economic, social and environmental needs.

Recent potential bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics were scuttled because cities did not receive political backing, fearing the cost of the Games was too great.

IOC contributions to bidding processes would also be considered in an effort to reduce the costs of the bids themselves.

The new proposal will allow for events outside the proposed host city and, in exceptional cases, outside the host country. The Winter Games already allow for such instances, particularly when mountains provide the border for countries.

This could lead to joint country bids in an another effort to reduce costs.

Another new idea would allow the organizing committee of a particular Olympic Games to make a proposal for the inclusion of one or more additional events for those Games.

If approved, it could lead to the inclusion of baseball and softball at the 2020 Tokyo Games in Japan, where baseball is the country's most popular sport.

A proposal for gender equality would allow for mixed-team events in future Games.

The recommendations were first presented to a group of Olympic athletes, many of whom contributed to the agenda process.