Spain withdraws bid for 2030 Winter Games due to political row

Japan’s Saporro is considered the favourite to stage the Olympics, with former Winter Games hosts Vancouver in Canada and Salt Lake City in the United States, also reportedly interested. — Reuters pic

Japan’s Saporro is considered the favourite to stage the Olympics, with former Winter Games hosts Vancouver in Canada and Salt Lake City in the United States, also reportedly interested. — Reuters pic

Wednesday, 22 Jun 2022 6:04 AM MYT

MADRID, June 22 — Spain will not present a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics in the Pyrenees due to political differences between the governments of the Catalonia and Aragon regions, Spain’s Olympic Committee president Alejandro Blanco announced on Tuesday.

The idea of hosting the Olympics has divided public opinion in the Spanish regions, especially since Catalonia’s pro-independence government did not want to include Aragon in the bid due to a political dispute.

Activists have also warned that staging the Games could have a negative impact on the Pyrenees due to climate change.

“We had other brilliant candidacies (for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics) that didn’t go ahead because we were competing with very strong rival cities. But this one we have destroyed ourselves at our own home,” Blanco told a news conference.

“There was no other way out than withdrawing our bid. We cannot spend months and months and months with the differences that there were.

“We were transforming an integrating project into a war between constitutionalists and independentists, the Olympic spirit is not about that.” The Catalan government had said it would hold a referendum in the region about the plans. In the past, referendums have killed off potential bids from several countries.

Japan’s Saporro is considered the favourite to stage the Olympics, with former Winter Games hosts Vancouver in Canada and Salt Lake City in the United States, also reportedly interested. — Reuters

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