Controversial managerial appointment further destabilizes Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 Winter Olympic bid


Mònica Bosch, a two-time winter Olympian in alpine skiing, was named bid coordinator for the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2032 Winter Olympics last week and will be responsible for leading the technical team as they put together a proposal to submit to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Later this year.

Olympian and President of the Catalan Winter Sports Federation Mònica Bosch has been appointed as the new Bid Coordinator for the Olympic Winter Games Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 (Photo: Twitter/@mboschf)

Bosch, who has led the Catalan Winter Sports Federation since 2016 and became president of the organization in 2020, has previously been involved in the strategic planning of winter sports in Catalonia. She will be leaving her current position to assume her new duties.

The new appointment further destabilized the multi-regional bid between the Spanish regions of Catalonia and Aragon who struggled to cooperate and agree on which community should lead the project.

Aragon president Javier Lambán says the unilateral appointment of Catalan-backed Bosch is an affront to his region that jeopardizes the viability of the entire bid. He attributes the power game to the “independence movement” of the Generalitat, according to a report by L’Esportiu.

“With the conditions proposed by the Generalitat, there will be no Games,” Lambán told the Catalonia-based publication.

Further emphasizing Aragon’s importance to the bid and its need for greater control, he added: “Aragon could present a bid as strong or stronger than Catalonia’s, but we have always understood that it was a WCC-led Spanish bid. [Spanish Olympic Committee] on an equal footing, and we have never subordinated the general interest of Spain to the maintenance of outdated ideologies, of exclusive nationalisms that are so devastating throughout the EU.

According to a statement from the government of Aragon, Lambán has contacted COE president Alejandro Blanco for his support, as he considers Catalonia’s fight for control to be detrimental to the Spanish Olympic Committee’s campaign. A Catalan bid depends on snow and mountain facilities located in Aragon. An agreement must therefore be reached if the joint Pyrenees-Barcelona bid is to go ahead.

The project also envisages a partnership with the host of the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina to organize sliding events on a renovated track.

The bid will also be based on a favorable outcome of the general referendum expected in the spring which, under current plans, will only include communities that would be directly affected by the Games and not wider regions. The referendum would exclude Barcelona and Aragon and other regions that could be indirectly affected by infrastructure construction and economic impact.

Opposition groups are calling for a fuller vote in all regions.

A recent Catalan government-sponsored poll found 73% support the bid, but the same opposition pointed to technical flaws in the survey, including small sample size and misleading questions that position the results as nothing more than “propaganda”. Critics over the transparency of the bid, which has no published plans, have also cast a shadow over past poll results and a future referendum.

The IOC has not set a timetable for the election of the host of the 2030 Winter Games, but could select a preferred candidate for control at any time.

An organized bid from Sapporo in Japan recently released preliminary plans for a 2030 bid and will poll its people on the project this spring. The city that hosted the 1972 edition of the Winter Games held road race events for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Games last year.

Salt Lake City hopes to resume its successful 2002 Games in 2030, and last year IOC President Thomas Bach said he admired the “unity” seen between governments supporting the project – a comment that has served as a possible warning to Spain’s candidacy.

Vancouver in Canada is developing a bid that will be organized by Indigenous First Nations peoples. The effort to follow up on the city’s 2010 edition may be a bit too late, with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) admitting the project may not culminate until late 2022.

A pledge made last year by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for his nation to be a candidate for the 2030 Winter Games launched a campaign that included interest from Lviv and Odessa, but those aspirations were dropped during the Russian invasion and the deadly bombardment of cities that began last month. continues to devastate the country.

The 2026 Winter Games will be held in northern Italy under the Milan-Cortina banner.


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