Barcelona Drops Bid For 2026 Olympic Winter Games

Olympic Rings at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Olympic Rings at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Barcelona has closed the door on a possible bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.  Barcelona’s deputy Mayor, Jordi Collboni, said Thursday that the decision responded “to the current social and economic circumstances not only in Barcelona, but in the whole country.”

Collboni said that a losing effort by the Spanish city could damage Barcelona’s reputation as an Olympic city, after the success of its 1992 Olympic Games.

He told the Catalan News Agency “If we submit an application we want it to be the winning option.”

In order for the bid to win, he said the candidacy “must have full political and social support.”

Ending a potential Barcelona bid for the Games was reportedly one of the main priorities of the governing alternative left and green alliance after it took power in 2015.  The decision, backed by three parties, was made Thursday after a report was released on the project.  The door remains open for a future bid.

Collboni said that the area would have reaped economic benefits for the Games based on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Agenda 2020 reforms that allows the Olympics to adapt to the city and not the other way around.

Barcelona is just another European city in a long list that have rejected proposals to host the Olympic Winter Games.  For 2022 six cities ended runs including Davos, Munich and Krakow due to lost referendums; Stockholm and Oslo for political reasons and Lviv due to war.

Hamburg, Rome and Budapest dropped out of the race for the 2024 Summer Games and last month a St. Moritz referendum stopped one possible Swiss bid for the 2026 Games.

Calgary, Sapporo, Stockholm, Innsbruck and 2022 runner-up Almaty in Kazakhstan are currently considering bids to host the 2026 Games.  Sion, Switzerland is expected to have its candidacy approved by its national governing body next month.

The IOC will elect a winner in 2019.