GENEVA – Amid concern about the expected searing heat in Tokyo, the IOC wants to move the 2020 Olympic marathons 800 kilometers (500 miles) north to find cooler and safer race conditions.
The proposal comes weeks after marathons were run around midnight in 38 degrees C (100 degrees F) at the track and field world championships in Doha, Qatar.
Forecast temperatures in Sapporo are "five to six degrees centigrade cooler during the day than in Tokyo," the Olympic body said.
"The Olympic Games are the platform where athletes can give 'once-in-a-lifetime' performances, and these measures ensure they have the conditions to give their best," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
An Olympic panel has been assessing heat and weather issues for the July 24-Aug. 9 games and is consulting with sports governing bodies.