A majority of Norwegians reportedly don’t think their state government should approve an unlimited financial guarantee to bid on the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, according to a new public opinion poll.
The new poll was conducted by the research firm Norstat for conservative magazine Minerva, which is also editorializing against the use of state funds for a Winter Games.
Organizers have said it will cost around NOK 35 billion (nearly USD six billion) and its budgets have been certified by experts, and there are fears that it will possibly cost much more.
Borre Rognlien, President of Norway’s national athletics federation, told the newspaper Aftenposten that the new poll doesn’t reflect results of earlier polls. Also, in a referendum held in Oslo last fall, a majority of voters supported an Olympic bid.
Fifty eight percent of Norwegians now say the state should not agreed to put up a financial guarantee for the Games, with 26 per cent saying it should, and 16 per cent were undecided.
Minerva editor Nils August Andersen, in explaining how public sentiment could have shifted from the results in a September referendum, said that voter participation in the referendum was low. He told Aftenposten that “therefore many both in and out of Oslo have not expressed their opinions before now”.
Rognlien and Oslo 2022 director Eli Grimsby reportedly appear undaunted by the negative public opinion poll with Rognlien claiming that athletes and boosters would now launch a new lobbying effort.
State politicians must either approve or reject an Olympic bid guarantee by January.