France to officially launch 2030 Olympic Winter Games bid

The regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in France are gearing up to submit an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Valais residents went to the polls June 10, 2018 and rejected CHF 100 million funding for Sion 2026 Olympic Bid (Sion 2026 Photo)
Switzerland among those bidding to host the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Sion 2026 Photo)

President of France’s National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) David Lappartient made the announcement Tuesday explaining “The Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in France in 2030 are a great opportunity to continue the momentum of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and offer fabulous prospects for French sport and our athletes.”

“Together, we must imagine the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of the future in the context of global warming; Games that respect balance, Games that promote transitions in the mountain world, economical Games and popular Games. It is this challenge that we are ready to take up.”

The timing of the bid is critical as the IOC enters into a short period of time where they will make important decisions about the Winter Games that could determine host cites for decades to come. Later this year officials could decide to allocate both 2030 and 2034 editions at a meeting in Paris next July, and more importantly they could choose a pool of climate-capable permanent hosts that will stage the Games on a rotating basis in the future.

Only a handful of regions have declared interest in future hosting opportunities including Salt Lake City in the United States that has been targeting the 2034 edition, Sweden and Switzerland that are developing plans to host in 2030, and Vancouver and Sapporo that had been focused on the 2030 Games but have since stepped back due to lost government support.

The IOC has hinted that there was a sixth interested party, but according to new bidding rules they were compelled to keep the possible candidate secret. It is not known if France represents that sixth region.

France has hosted the Winter Games three times, in Chamonix in 1924, Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992. The nation’s last bid for the winter edition was defeated in embarrassing fashion when Annecy won only seven of a possible 95 votes on the way to PyeongChang’s convincing win over second place Munich.

The CNOSF says they will officially open a dialogue with the IOC’s Future Host Commission this month naming the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur joint bid and will follow with a draft application to be presented to the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) and the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF), along with legislative bodies, in September.

The plans will then be presented to the IOC by the end of September.

Officials expect the IOC to name a short list of candidates for targeted dialogue in December this year ahead of a possible election next July in Paris ahead of the Olympic Games.

More to come…

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of 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.

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