City politician considers sustainable Copenhagen 2036 Olympic bid on a small budget

Copenhagen’s city councilor for culture and leisure is proposing the Danish capital bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games.  Mia Nyegaard of the Social Liberal party Radikale claims her city can address long-term sustainable urban development goals while organizing a low-cost edition of the event.

Mia Nyegaard

Mia Nyegaard, Copenhagen’s culture and leisure city councilor, is proposing a low-cost 2036 Olympic Games in the Danish capital (Photo: Radikale Venstre Party)

In an interview with Berlingske newspaper Monday Nyegaard said she aims to stage the “cheapest, most sustainable and smallest Olympic Games” with minimal investment using facilities the area already has to offer.  Without offering any budget figures, Nyegaard admitted that her plan would require the construction of an Olympic Stadium and the development of an athletes’ village that would later be converted to student and family housing.

Nyegaard admitted the plans are ambitious and would likely receive political pushback due to the immensity and costs of the project, but she remained optimistic in the interview

“What if we can?,” she asked.

“What if we dare to adopt this as our vision and see it it’s possible?”

Copenhagen, one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, is known for its active and sports-minded population.  The city hosts an annual marathon and open water swimming competition and in 2011 staged the Cycling Road World Championships.  In July, a leg of the Tour de France will be set in Copenhagen.  But with a population of just over 5 million citizens, nearly half surrounding the Copenhagen metropolitan area, Denmark has never hosted the Olympic Games.

Radikale party culture spokesperson Zenia Stampe told Berlingske “I thought it would be difficult, but now I can see that it could be done in a way so that it develops Copenhagen’s urban space, and that it could develop the way you hold the Olympics.

“A kind of moon landing – a goal on the horizon that can be used to create urban development.”

Stampe also agreed that the plans may not be realistic considering the estimated costs of upcoming Games including Paris in 2024, she said “it is refreshing to dream, and now we have to see if the dream can come true.”

No specific plans have been proposed.

Marketing manager Lars Ramme Nielsen of Dansk Erhverv, Denmark’s chamber of commerce agrees with the approach of a scaled-back version of the Olympics, but he doesn’t believe the proposal for Denmark will be successful.

“Basically, at the moment, it is not possible – as in not at all – to do so,” he said.

“There must be a crucial change in the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) approach to how to hold the Olympics, if it is to be possible.”

After Paris, Los Angeles will host the Games in 2028 and Brisbane, Australia will stage the event in 2032.

There are several places that have already been discussing 2036 bids including projects from Germany, India, Indonesia, Hungary, Qatar and North and South Korea.  London, Istanbul and several cities across Russia have also expressed interest in joining the race.

There is no set timetable for the naming of the 2036 host city.  The IOC maintains continuous dialogues with potential candidates and will single out the right partner for due diligence once a fit is found.  The last two elected hosts, Los Angeles and Brisbane, were named about 11 years in advance of their opening ceremonies.

About Robert Livingstone


A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.