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People are already wondering where the 2026 Winter Olympics will be

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing has barely begun and people are already looking four years down the road.

The Winter Olympics in Beijing has barely begun following Friday's Opening Ceremony. And yet, people online are already asking an important question.

Where is the next Winter Olympics being held? The question was one of the top searches on Google Friday.

During the Opening Ceremony, the current host country always marches into the stadium last. But in a recent move, the International Olympic Committee decided to have the next host march right before that.

In this case, it's Italy. Milano Cortina will host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Credit: AP
Michela Moioli, of Italy, carries her national flag during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Before that, of course, will come the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. That will be followed by the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles, which last hosted in 1984.

A host city for the 2030 Winter Olympics is yet to be determined, but Salt Lake City is reportedly in the running. It hosted the 2002 Winter Games.

Brisbane, Australia, will host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

When did the Olympics move to every two years?

From 1924 through 1992, the Winter and Summer Olympics were the same year. The '92 Winter Games were celebrated in Albertville, France, followed by the Summer Games in Barcelona.

Then change came.

Since 1994, an Olympics has been held every two years. The '94 Winter Olympics took place in Lillehammer, Norway, followed by the Summer Games in 1996 in Atlanta. Nagano, Japan, was next in 1998 with the Winter Games. That pattern was broken by the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Beijing Winter Games open on Friday, just six months after Tokyo closed. They'll be followed by the Summer Olympics in 2024 in Paris. Here's a breakdown of why things have unfolded as they have.

Why were the Olympics moved to every two years?

Olympic historian Bill Mallon suggests the International Olympic Committee was looking for more revenue. The IOC, he says, “thought they could get more sponsorship money by spreading the Games out more.”

Every two years also kept the Olympics in the public eye, and the move dovetailed with the increasing commercialization and professionalization of the Games. The trend was underlined when, for the first time, professional basketball players from the NBA — the American Dream Team — were the marquee stars in Barcelona.

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