1st October 2023
Winter Olympics
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Spanish Olympic Committee agrees Catalonia-Aragón bid for 2030 Winter Olympics

Spanish media are reporting that the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) has agreed a deal between Catalonia and Aragón to officially launch a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

Although the COE has not yet issued a statement, its president Alejandro Blanco has reportedly sent a formal letter to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez with technical details about the bid, as well as to the presidents of Catalonia and Aragón, Pere Aragonès and Javier Lambán respectively, and that will be presented to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in due course.

Japan’s Saporro is considered as the favourite to stage the 2030 event, with former Winter Games hosts Vancouver (Canada) and Salt Lake City (USA) also reportedly interested.

The idea of hosting the Winter Olympics has caused months-long discrepancies between the two regions, especially since Catalonia’s pro-independence government did not want to include Aragón in the bid. Activists have also warned that staging the Games could also have a negative impact on the Pyrenees due to climate change. Reports state that the governments of both Catalonia and Aragón still have to ratify the COE’s deal. 

Barcelona city and the Pyrenees are both set to play a key role in the potential Games, but reports also state that a public vote in six Catalan counties has to be held before the bid is officially submitted: in Vall d’Aran, Pallars Sobirà, Pallars Jussà, Cerdanya, Alta Ribagorça and Alt Urgell counties. 

Stop JJOO, a platform lobbying against the project, has announced a major demonstration on 15 May in Puigcerdà, at the heart of the Catalan Pyrenees in the Cerdanya county. 

The COE’s agreement reportedly includes Catalonia hosting ski competitions in the Pyrenees mountains: alpine skiing, downhill, and slalom at La Molina-Masella ski resort, and snowboarding and freestyle competitions at the Baqueira Beret resort. Ski mountaineering, a first to be held at the 2026 Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Olympic Games, would take place at Boí Taüll ski area. 

Meanwhile, Aragón would host biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, and speed skating sports events.

Winter Olympics
Winter Olympics file image. (Vytautas Dranginis / Unsplash)

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