Barcelona Could Join France And Andorra For Pyrenees 2030 Olympic Winter Games Bid

Talks were held among Barcelona in Spain, Andorra and the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon with the prospect of launching a 2030 Olympic Winter Games bid centered on the Pyrenees Mountains.  Representatives met in Andorra to discuss possible plans.

Barcelona, Spain hosted the 1992 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

Barcelona, Spain hosted the 1992 Olympic Games (Wikipedia Photo)

According to Marca the General Secretary of the Sports Federation Union of Catalonia, Gerard Figueras, made the announcement that could see a bid for the first time from three countries – but Barcelona, the 1992 Summer Games host city – would take the lead role.

“It’s not an exclusive candidacy, but an inclusive one,” Figueras said.

“It’s a great opportunity to take forward a transnational initiative in the Pyrenees.

“The problem of the Pyrenees is that, historically, it has been split and now there is an opportunity to be united together with a brand city like Barcelona.”

France last hosted the Winter Games in Albertville in 1992, but capital Paris is currently organizing the 2024 Summer Games.

Spain has never hosted a Winter Games, but has lost four bids by Jaca, a town close to Barcelona and the French border, in 2014, 2010, 2002 and 1998.

Andorra, a tiny principality with a population of about 80,000 nestled between the French and Spanish borders in the Pyrenees bid for the 2010 Games, but missed the shortlist.

Other cities have indicated interest in bidding for the 2030 Games including 2002 host Salt Lake City, 1994 host city Lillehammer and 1972 host city Sapporo – the latter dropping from the current 2026 race to instead focus on the subsequent edition.

The 2026 race has only two candidates including Milan-Cortina in Italy and Stockholm Åre in Sweden, both regional concepts, but only a sliding track in Segulda proposed by the Swedish entry falls outside of international borders.  That race will end June 24 when the IOC Session in Lausanne elects a winner.

IOC Forms Working Group To Retool Troubled Olympic Bid Process

The IOC has been more willing to accept widespread regional plans over compact footprints after the 2013 publication of the Olympic Agenda 2020, a 40-point plan designed to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the Olympic Games.  Games held across international borders are currently contrary to the Olympic Charter, but this week International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said the charter could be changed, and he set up a five-member working group to investigate the future of the bid process.

Bach emphasized that “flexibility” would be key in any new processes..

The IOC will choose the 2030 host city in 2023.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil