Ushuaia and Buenos Aires could make a late bid for the 2026 Games ©Getty Images

Buenos Aires and Ushuaia could make a late bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) said it will launch a feasibility study to consider a possible joint candidacy, it was announced today.

In a statement, the COA said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had been informed about the potential bid from the two Argentine cities.

Buenos Aires has been earmarked as the venue for ice sports, while Ushuaia, considered commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world, a possible location for snow sports.

The two cities are located nearly 3,100 kilometres away.

The announcement comes after Buenos Aires staged a successful edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games earlier this year and amid uncertainty over all three candidates in the 2026 race - Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy, Stockholm in Sweden and Calgary in Canada.

It is not yet clear what the next steps would be should the COA decide to press ahead with a bid for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which have never been held in South America.

"With the prospect of a potential future candidacy for the 2030 Winter Olympics, we are able to assess in a responsible manner a joint candidacy for the 2026 Winter Olympics in the case the opportunity surges," said COA President and IOC member Gerardo Werthein.

IOC President Thomas Bach had talked up Buenos Aires' capability to host the 2032 Summer Olympics following the conclusion of the youth version, while Ushuaia is thought to be considering a bid for the 2024 Winter Youth Games.

The success of Buenos Aires 2018 has shown Argentina can host large scale events, according to the COA ©Getty Images
The success of Buenos Aires 2018 has shown Argentina can host large scale events, according to the COA ©Getty Images

Argentina was not one of the countries which expressed an interest to the IOC in hosting the 2026 Games and the Session approved Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy, Stockholm and Calgary as the three candidates.

But doubts over Calgary and Stockholm have intensified in recent weeks, while the Italian Government has refused to underwrite the joint Italian bid.

It remains possible that the IOC could be left without a candidate for the Games, with Bach insisting earlier this month that they did not have a plan 'B'.

Such an eventuality could feasibly force the IOC to open up the process again in order to find a host city and there have already been rumours that the United States may step in to stage the 2026 event.

The United States Olympic Committee said in a statement it was mainly focusing on 2030.

insidethegames has contacted the IOC for comment.