It is now down to three candidates, all European. But the battle for the 2030 Winter Games is gathering pace. With less than a month to go before the IOC Executive Board announces which city or cities will be invited to continue the race in the targeted dialogue phase, it was high time.
Switzerland unveiled its concept, a nationwide project, with competition venues sprinkled throughout the Confederation’s linguistic regions. “Games for all of Switzerland“.
France, too, has put the finishing touches to a plan in which, as David Lappartient, President of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF), explained to FrancsJeux, “the sharing of venues is very balanced between the two regions“, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (AURA). The French also unveiled the results of two surveys of the populations concerned. They look good: 81% support in the AURA region, 73% in PACA.
Sweden? It seemed to be dragging its feet. But the Swedes are making progress too. More pragmatic than rhetorical, they are putting the pieces of their case in place one by one.
Four weeks ahead of a meeting of the IOC Executive Board (November 29 to December 1 in Paris), which is presumed to be decisive, three Swedish municipalities have signed an agreement with the bid committee to support the project and, above all, to commit to hosting events.
Falun Town Council has signed a guarantee that its facilities, including the ski jump, will be used for Nordic skiing competitions at the 2030 Winter Games. Two other winter sports strongholds, Åre and Östersund, had already initialed the same document.
The resort of Åre, associated with Stockholm in the bid to host the Winter Games in 2026, would host alpine skiing. Östersund would be the setting for the biathlon events. The capital, Stockholm, would host ice hockey and skating. Unlike its French and Swiss rivals, Sweden would look abroad for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions. The dossier proposes using the Sigulda sliding track in Latvia.
Comments Hans von Uthmann, President of the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK): “We have broad political support in the municipalities concerned. We all share the conviction that we can organize the most sustainable Games ever.”
The message is clear: the 2030 Winter Games will be sustainable. The French, Swedes and Swiss have embraced the same priority, to the point of making it their campaign slogan. The three teams repeat it in unison, without fear of speaking the same language.
With three candidates from the same continent, all involved in the battle at a late stage, all displaying a common taste for sustainability and a rejection of new construction, the race for the Winter Games is sorely lacking in contrast. This makes it all the more uncertain.