Tuesday, May 17

The COE confirms the joint candidacy of Catalonia and Aragon for the 2030 Winter Olympics

Catalonia and Aragon will have an official candidacy for the Winter Olympics in 2030. The Spanish Olympic Committee has confirmed this Monday that the governments of both communities and the central government have reached a technical agreement to distribute the sports disciplines and define which part of the games will host each territory. According to the pact, Catalonia will host mountain skiing, ice hockey, alpine skiing, downhill and slalom, ‘snow’ and ‘freestyle’. Aragón for its part would stay with the modalities of biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating and short and long speed. Some other disciplines will have to seek outside facilities to be held.

This Monday the COE has sent a letter to the presidents of the three governments present in the agreement, with which they give the starting gun to the candidacy for the Olympic race. The Committee details that there have been six meetings that have been held until reaching this agreement, which ends the controversy of Aragon’s involvement in the games, after the Aragonese Government claimed to participate on an equal footing in the candidacy. Estimates are that Catalonia welcomes some 2,600 people between athletes and officials, while Aragon does so with 2,100. However, central issues still need to be cleared up, starting with the name of the candidacy itself or the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, among many other issues.

The distribution of disciplines has followed criteria of the capacities and infrastructures of each territory. In the areas of the Pyrenees, sports that require ski slopes will be held, such as those of Baqueira Beret, La Molina-Masella, Boí Taüll, Candanchú and Jaca. The cities of Barcelona and Zaragoza are also expected to get involved, hosting ice hockey in the Catalan capital and skating in Aragonese. But neither Catalonia nor Aragón has enough facilities to host disciplines such as bobsleigh, skeleton, luge, ski jumping or the Nordic combined, for which destinations that can host it are sought. One of the options is Sarajevo, a city with sports connections with Barcelona since the 1994 Olympics, but this question has not been decided.

“Since Catalonia we were very clear that the center of the disciplines was the Pyrenees, we must be very clear that we work for the Pyrenees and for this to be a competitive proposal”, explained Mònica Bosch, coordinator of the Games project on the Catalan side. . As Bosch has explained in statements to the media, the Generalitat is committed to a project that strictly follows the criteria of only using existing infrastructure.

The Generalitat considers that the agreement reached is positive for both parties, despite the fact that the incorporation of Aragón requires modifying central issues of the project that Catalonia has been preparing since 2012. One of the Government’s commitments is that all the games, at least in the Catalan, can be held with the current sports infrastructure, with just a few modifications, such as the improvement of some slopes, but not the extension of the ski areas. The same happens with hotel and parking spaces, which the Generalitat considers will not need to be expanded. On the other hand, there are mobility needs, very specifically the splitting of Renfe’s R3 line, an issue for the Generalitat that is a priority but that depends on the central government.