Referendum on Pyrenees’ 2030 Winter Olympics bid postponed

Vote was scheduled for 24 July but no candidacy deal has been reached so far

VilaWeb
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
27.05.2022 - 10:11
Actualització: 13.06.2022 - 10:05

The Catalan government has postponed the referendum on the 2030 Winter Olympics bid that was scheduled for 24 July. According to governmental sources, they want to have a clear candidacy project before the residents in the Pyrenees can vote on whether they greenlight hosting the event or not.

At this moment, there is no expected date for the vote. The Catalan government is awaiting for the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) and Catalonia’s neighboring region of Aragon to agree on the candidacy.

Residents in Catalan counties where Games could take place were expected to vote in July. A government-funded survey on 5 May found that three out of four residents are in favor of holding the 2030 Winter Olympics. However, there is also a wide opposition movement and 150 scientists signed a manifesto against the project.

Negotiations to continue

On Wednesday, the president of the COE, Alejandro Blanco, said negotiations with Catalonia and Aragon to bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics Games would continue. “I will resume conversations with those who want to take part,” Alejandro Blanco said during a press conference on Wednesday, almost two months on from Aragon rejecting the agreed deal over the distribution of events.

“We cannot lose face before the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We have sent a letter saying that we want to organize the Games,” Blanco added. If they are not able to present a bid, Blanco said, “we will see what the next decision is.” Although there is no official deadline for a bid, Blanco explained, time is running out, since IOC president, Thomas Bach, will be in Spain on June 1. He is visiting a sports center helping to train refugee athletes near Madrid, but the 2030 bid is also expected to be on his agenda. “Bach will ask a lot of things,” Blanco said. “We are in a hurry with deadlines, although there are no exact dates.”

In a pair of radio interviews earlier on Wednesday, Blanco said that Aragon’s refusal to accept what had been agreed has “damaged” the Spanish Olympic Committee’s stance ahead of Bach’s arrival. “The project’s draft project will not be ready as I had hoped, but I will anyway talk to Bach to brief him about the current situation and to make clear we continue with the idea of hosting the Games,” he said during an interview with Catalunya Ràdio. If, in the end, the Pyrenees doesn’t win the bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics, Blanco said he would not rule out another go in 2034.

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