Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) president Alejandro Blanco is set to end the joint bid between Catalonia and Aragon to host the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Local media reports Monday have cited reliable sources, and confirmed that Blanco is set to announce the end of the bid during a planned press conference Tuesday evening local time in Madrid.
According to Catalonia based Ara news, government officials have already been informed of the cancelation.
The bid, that is more than three years in the making, has been the victim of political infighting among potential joint partners and opponents of the project. Leaders of the Catalan and Aragon sides of the proposal have accused each other of playing politics and sabotaging efforts to come to an agreement over the allocation of venues. Negotiations collapsed earlier this month spelling the likely end to the bid.
Both sides suggested that they could move forward with solo bids and Catalonia pleaded with the COE to let it launch an individual campaign, but recent reports have suggested that Blanco was not on board with that idea. The project has already fallen well behind rivals from Sapporo, Salt Lake City and Vancouver, with those bids boasting published plans, public engagement campaigns and technical visits with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lack of organization forced Spanish officials to cancel planned IOC visits twice and postpone a July 24 referendum that was arranged to measure public interest in the bid. Olympic opponents have held several rallies to end the project over environmental and economic concerns.
A tweet by bid opposition group Stop JJO Monday said “We Won!”
Reports further indicate that COE officials will refocus on hosting the 2034 edition of the Games, though no details have been revealed.
The IOC revealed last month that it will select candidates for targeted dialogue at a December 7 Executive Board meeting, but it is unclear whether bids will only be considered for the 2030 edition, or if a parallel process will be conducted to find a host for the 2034 Games.
The next opportunity for the IOC to elect one or more Olympic hosts will be at a Session in Mumbai, India next May 30.
More to come…