Politics 16/06/2022

Catalan Government proposes Catalan-only bid for Winter Olympics as last attempt to convince the COE

Spanish Olympic Committee has already shown its reluctance towards this possibility

2 min
Councilors Vilagra and Alsina present the logistics of the Gachos d Invierno consultation, Palau de la Generalitat, Barcelona.

BarcelonaIt only remains to be officially announced, but everyone is clear that the Catalan-Aragonese candidacy for the Winter Olympics will not come to fruition due to the lack of understanding between governments. Faced with this scenario, the Catalan government has announced this Thursday that it is preparing an exclusively Catalan candidacy to opt for the sporting event. However, it does not seem a very viable option because the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) always has the last word on the way the project would be set up and, so far, has always been reluctant to allowing a Catalan only bid to host the Winter Olympics.

Be that as it may, Catalan Presidency minister Laura Vilagrà announced on Thursday that she has already commissioned the Games coordinator, Mònica Bosch, to make "a proposal for a project for a Catalan candidacy". That is, until now all documents and reports on the Games took into account that the candidacy was joint with Aragon. In this new assignment, it will speak only of Catalonia as host of the event, with "external collaborations" for disciplines such as ski jumping or luge events, for which there are no infrastructures in Catalonia.

Vilagrà has explained that the Generalitat has already spoken "informally" with the COE to present a solo candidacy and has assured that it would be hard to understand if this option were shunned over Aragon's foreseeable reluctance. "No one should have the right to veto", said the minister. "We see ourselves capable of doing it and we would not understand if it were not so. We would lose the opportunity of organising the Olympics," she warned those present.

The Government has not only had contacts with the COE, but also recently with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during a visit to Madrid. According to Vilagrà, the IOC is "eager" for there to be a European candidacy for the Winter Games –for now only Sapporo and Salt Lake City have been confirmed– and it would not be understood if there were not one due to the lack of capacity to reach an agreement. In addition, she recalled that the Pyrenees are the "only mountain range" on the continent that have not hosted the sporting event. In short, the Generalitat is convinced that, if it manages to close the candidacy –jointly or alone–, it would end up being the favourite.

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