OTTAWA - Canada won't bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but is aiming to host the 2022 Games.
The 2018 Games is too soon after next year's Vancouver Olympics for Canada to play host again, says Chris Rudge, the chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
"I'm not sure there's any precedent for a Games being that close in a country, certainly a Winter Games, but there's no question that we are looking at when the next time to bid might be," Rudge said in an interview Tuesday.
"I think that our general belief is that '22 is not unrealistic."
The incoming president of the COC said he'd "absolutely" like to put in a bid for 2022.
"A (2018) bid might not be viewed seriously by the IOC," Marcel Aubut said in a French interview.
"Also, we want to have more time to prepare for 2022."
The International Olympic Committee formally opened the bidding process for 2018 on Friday and national committees have until Oct. 15 to propose their host candidates.
Potential candidates include Annecy, France; Munich, Germany; and Pyeongchang, South Korea, which is entering for a third straight time.
Vancouver beat out Pyeongchang for the 2010 Games by three votes.
If Canada goes ahead with a bid in 2022, it's likely to be Quebec City.
They've tried twice before.
Quebec City was Canada's official candidate for the 2002 Games, but lost to Salt Lake City.
The city tried again to be Canada's choice for the 2010 Olympics, but Vancouver's bid was the one chosen to go to the IOC.
The 2014 Games are being held in Sochi, Russia.
Aubut, who practises law in Quebec City, said the third time could be the charm.
"Quebec City has progressed," he said, adding that the Vancouver Games have given residents there an appetite to host an Olympics of their own.
Rudge said if the decision is made to bid for 2022, any Canadian city will be eligible to submit a bid to the COC for consideration, which is the normal process.
The winner of that round then goes ahead with a bid to the IOC.
The COC broke from their regular bid process when it decided that Toronto would bid for the 2015 Pan Am Games. Rudge called that a strategic decision made on the basis that a bid from the area would help develop badly needed resources for summer sports.
Aubut said that when he takes over the helm of the COC next year, he wants to be far more aggressive in courting major sports events for Canada.
The Pan Am bid is also seen as a way to prepare Toronto to host a Summer Olympics.
But Rudge said the discussion around whether the next Games bid from Canada should be for summer or winter would depend on whether the bid was winnable.
"We've gone twice in Toronto and lost, we've had more success attracting Winter Games and perhaps one of the reasons is we have such a good track record of hosting Games," he said.
"There may be a preference to give us the winter over summer, I don't know. We haven't put ourselves in a position yet of choosing one or the other."