Sapporo (Japan) is one step ahead. The Japanese nomination reaches the crucial stage of the selection process for the venue for the 2030 Winter Olympics with an advanced nomination that gives it a certain advantage over the rest of the projects. Salt Lake City (US) and Vancouver (Canada) offer first-class structures, although the project is not fully insured. Barcelona-Zaragoza, for its part, is tempting the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with an alternative proposal that would put the Pyrenees on the Olympic map as long as it overcomes the political blockade. The international organization plans to announce its election between the first and second quarters of 2023, and does not rule out choosing two places for 2030 and 2034 at the same time.
EL PAÍS analyzes the case of the four applicants with Ander Mirample, the pioneer of skeletons in Spain, still active at the age of 39, and Enrique Trono, Barcelona Adviser for Sport, Tourism and Olympic Games (1979-1998) and Commissioner of Barcelona- Presentation Pirineus 2022.
Sapporo. It is currently the strongest proposal in the eyes of the IOC. The parade was built with the goal of the 2026 Games, but the 2018 Hokkaido earthquake, which left more than 40 people dead, forced the Japanese government to shift priorities to focus on rebuilding the affected areas. The organization wants to use “the majority of the existing sports infrastructure”, as former bid chief Ryosuke Suzuki admitted at EL PAÍS, and they hosted part of the 1972 Games. The International Committee sees the Japanese proposal as a guarantee because there is little work pending: it does not depend on any An electoral result, a referendum, or a political agreement.
The Tokyo 2020 memory plays against him, and has been marked by an epidemic. The appointment had to be delayed until the summer of 2021, creating tensions between the IOC and the organizing committee over the way the crisis was managed. Although the competition took place sportily, some members of the International Committee admit between the lanes that they do not keep much memory of their relations with the Japanese government due to their complexity.
And the closeness of appointments doesn’t help either: nine years apart. The IOC prefers to spread the Games across different continents and countries before returning to the region that it just hosted. However, there are contemporary precedents that diminish this problem: the United States hosted the 1996 Summer Games (Atlanta) and the 2002 Winter Games (Salt Lake); Beijing (China) hosted the summer of 2008 and the winter of 2022. Miramble claims, however, to leave Asia: “The last two Winter Games were in Korea (2018) and in Beijing; summer events also stood out with Beijing (2012) and Tokyo (2020). necessary to maintain the continental circulation.”
Salt Lake City. Reach the race as an Avenger. At the beginning of the year, he told the IOC his intention to prioritize the 2034 Games due to the proximity of Los Angeles to 2028. However, given the general uncertainty, he welcomes the possibility of hosting the 2030 event as it will not need major modifications. It hosted the 2002 Games, and the current offering is built from the same infrastructure. “The facilities are ready and well maintained,” Trono says. However, Mirambell warns that Park City in Utah, the site that hosts bobsleigh and jumps rink, requires a reset. “The braking part of the circuit has shortened and they have to put in safe mattresses, and the starting point is a few years old,” the downhill rider says.
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The latitude of Salt Lake, the northern United States, is another plus point. Climatic conditions in winter guarantee good quality snow and ice, Trono notes, which is why winter sports are “deeply rooted in the territory.”
The IOC knows, however, that behind US sporting event organizers are private capital economic structures that monitor major sporting events and games of essentially lucrative interest. “In the United States you will never see President Joe Biden act in favor of getting the date. It is business people who are pulling the car,” explains a source from the International Olympic Committee. In the current context of Olympic reparations, and with the International Committee’s interest in leaving the shadows of corruption from the turn of the century through the agenda of the 2020 agenda, and approaching the canons of sustainability demanded by new generations, the organization knows that a practical organization can stray from the purest Olympic idea. The proximity to Los Angeles 2028, where the Summer Games are being held, also limits their choice.
Vancouver. His future depends on the results of the municipal elections in the city next October. Political controversy raises the need or not to hold a referendum endorsing a nomination based on the success of the 2010 Games. “A candidacy is perhaps the most prepared technical project,” analyzes Miramble, who participated in the recent Canadian Olympic event. . “They will have to invest very little because the facilities are good,” he insists. The winter climate and social interests, where winter sports are almost daily, promote the initiative.
The way the Canadian team operates is also admired by the International Olympic Committee, which recognizes that it will not have to interact much with the private sector and will ensure a more sustainable model. Troy, who that year traveled to the Olympic event with former Barcelona Mayor Jordi Hero, is the father of the Barcelona-Pirineus 2020 flagship project to learn the Canadian model. Canadians have social concerns and are currently striving to repair the impact that First Nations (Indigenous) experienced. The IOC likes all this, ”understands the ex-Barcelona Council member.
Barcelona – Zaragoza. Political wrangling pushed the candidacy to the limit, despite having had the endorsement of the International Olympic Committee since 2018. The Pyrenees 2030 project is the most different from the rest, tempting the international organization with two ideas: first, to put the Pyrenees on the international map. “The IOC is interested in incorporating new mountain ranges into the Olympic family,” Trono explains. IOC sources acknowledge that the proposal to revitalize the region through the Games is precisely one of the goals of the 2020 agenda.
The second idea is certainly the most important, and at the same time seems the most difficult to implement. The President of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, puts forward the candidacy as a tool for territorial and social unity after to treat; The IOC sees with good eyes the agreement between the Generalitat de Catalunya and the central government through the Games. What the Council of Europe did not expect was that the person it had to persuade was the Aragonese government, which in recent weeks turned the nomination on its head by deeming the distribution approved by the rest of the administrations “unfair”. The latest proposal for Aragon offers a new distribution so that all the valleys of the Aragon-Pyrenees are represented, in exchange for skating and going to Barcelona, something the Lampan government again rejects.
The inconsistencies make Miramble uneasy. “Many of the politicians involved in the negotiations will retire in 2030. They are agreeing for the greater good,” he asks. Blanco has set May 20 as the deadline to cancel the agreement, which would jump out Catalonia-Aragon options after IOC sources admitted a few days ago to EL PAÍS that internal disagreements had “discredited” the project. If the Council of Europe achieves its goal, it will have to wait for the results of the referendum to be held in the Catalan Pyrenees on June 24 to ratify the proposal.