— Published 24 March 2022

Madrid is already giving up

The end of the story. At least for a while. Alejandro Blanco (pictured above), the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee (EOC), confirmed this week in an interview with Catalan radio station RAC1 that Madrid will not enter the race for the 2036 Summer Games. The Spanish leader had hinted otherwise a week earlier, going so far as to suggest that a Madrid bid would be virtually unbeatable. But he changed his position after discussions with the IOC and the capital’s authorities. I have had several meetings with the mayor of Madrid to discuss this issue,” said Alejandro Blanco. Madrid is, without a doubt, a city that should try to host the Olympic Games, but it will not opt for the 2036 Games. The IOC has told us that Spain’s best chance is to prepare for the Winter Games in 2030. So the plan for a new campaign by Madrid, after its unsuccessful attempts for the Summer Games in 2012, 2016 and 2020, is now forgotten. The Spanish capital will have to wait until at least 2040 to relaunch its Olympic project. But Alejandro Blanco insists that Madrid, “the largest European city never to have hosted the Summer Games”, must not “abandon its dream.” There is still one unknown: does the Barcelona and Pyrenees project for the Winter Games in 2030 really have a chance of winning, as the IOC reportedly explained in its discussions with the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee? At this stage, nothing is less certain. His bid is plagued by power struggles between Catalonia and the neighbouring region of Aragon. And it will have to go through a referendum, announced for this spring. As evidence of the internal divisions, the Spaniards have still not been able to agree on the name of the project. Barcelona-Pyrenees? Pyrenees-Barcelona? Pyrenees-Barcelona-Zaragoza? They will have to decide.