— Published 17 November 2023

Collective calls for sustainable and responsible Games

The Winter Games, yes, but not at any price. That, in essence, is the message from a collective of some twenty French NGOs, elected representatives, athletes and scientists. Mobilized around the demand for an event “compatible with respect for planetary limits and beneficial for populations and territories“, these sustainability activists published a press release this week in which they detail the conditions for organizing the Winter Games. The list includes a good fifteen conditions, including slopes “made predominantly with natural snow“, an Olympic facility “with 100% existing infrastructure“, the possibility of reaching “at least 80% of the venues by train or other public transport“, and the Organizing Committee’s renunciation of “partnerships with sponsors whose activities promote conduct and products that are highly polluting or consume resources“. The collective includes two big names in French winter sports, former biathlete Marie Dorin-Habert, triple Olympic medalist, and Mathieu Crepel, double world snowboard champion. “Major sporting events, desired and supported by the public authorities, must be thought of and organized as tools in the service of a social and territorial project, enabling the long-term habitability of these areas“, insists the press release. The signatories call on the IOC and international federations to “integrate climate change into the design of the event“. They also call for a public consultation on the French Alps’ Olympic project for the 2030 Winter Games.