Petter Ronningen has been selected to take over as head of Tromso’s bid committee for the 2018 Winter Games, succeeding Bjorge Stensbol, who ran into conflicts with the group’s chairman Petter Jansen, reports Aftenposten.
Ronningen reportedly played a key role in securing the 1994 Games for Lillehammer and has been an adviser to the 2002 Summer Games in Salt Lake City and the Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
Aftenposten reports that sports officials concerned over a lack of public support for Tomso’s bid have asked for assistance from former Olympic cross-country skiing star Vegard Ulvang who started Wednesday trying to get support from athletes for the bid.
Tromso Mayor Arild Hausberg called Ronningen the city’s “dream candidate” to take over the job of heading the organizing committee. He said, “he’s the man who can organize an Olympics. What we have to do is get the people enthused and get the athletes enthused and get back optimistic faith in the project”.
According to Aftenposten, critics say an Olympics in Tromso will demand large amounts of public funding and it’s not worth the cost. Others are angry that Tromso was chosen over other Norwegian cities thought to be better suited to host the Games, and environmentalists have blasted a proposed Olympics in Tromo saying it will damage the area’s fragile Arctic atmosphere and generate more carbon emissions from increased flights to the northern city.