It’s over. The 2030 Winter Olympics will not be held in the Pyrenees. The President of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), Alejandro Blanco, officially announced his resignation from the project this Tuesday, but opens the door to maintain dialogue with the International Olympic Committee (COI) with a view to 2034. The Decision comes after the political disagreements of the Diputación General de Aragón (DGA) with the rest of the administrations involved (Generalitat, Central Government and the COE itself), which Blanco highlighted throughout his appearance. “This project had to unite wills, but it has led to political differences based on lies. We destroyed the candidacy at home,” regretted Blanco.
The committee also rejects the possibility of presenting an all-Catalan project for 2030, as the minister of the Presidium of the Generalitat, Laura Vilagrà, claimed on Monday. The COE argues that the approach with the IOC is that of a joint candidacy between Catalonia and Aragon, so given the urgency of choosing the 2030 venue, scheduled for the first half of 2023, it is now not possible to change the roadmap .
Blanco argued in his appearance that the formal communication with the IOC to make his interest in the 2030 Games official began with the presence of Aragón in the project; despite previous work in Catalonia with the regional candidacy Pyrenees-Barcelona. For the COE, the only way to host the Olympic Games in eight years was the Catalan-Aragonese project. “We presented a project to the IOC that was supported by the Government, the Generalitat and the General Council of Aragon,” stressed the President. Committee sources insist it is not possible to present the Catalan road without Aragon. “We can’t just claim that we have a joint project and that half the way is half the way,” they analyze.
In any case, the COE advocates “maintaining dialogue” with the IOC. His idea is to keep alive the possibility of rethinking the project for the 2034 event, this time without the need to group Catalonia and Aragon. In any case, it will not be easy to reach this point, given the risk of repeating the territorial crisis: the Catalan executive claims to go alone in 2030 or 2034 and Lambán, for his part, has defended that Aragón ” who dreams ahead 30 years of the Winter Olympics and there is no way that I will give up that dream.” Generalitat spokeswoman Patrícia Plaja told a news conference on Tuesday that it would be “surprising” if the COE and central government gave up on pushing the Catalan road .
Relations between the COE and the IOC are fluid and in Switzerland they have followed the outcome of the Catalan-Aragonese candidacy with surprise. “International opinion has seen the internal problems,” Blanco admitted. IOC sources admit they were aware of the political conflict between Catalonia and the state but did not expect that the end of the road would be due to disagreements with the Aragon government. The dominant message in the COE corridors is that Lambán’s “political interest” torpedoed the candidacy.
The President of Aragon three months ago blocked a technical agreement confirmed by his own representatives on the Technical Commission, composed of members of the DGA, the Generalitat, the COE and the government, to determine the location of the Olympic disciplines. Carlos Lannes, the Aragonese representative, asked at the first meeting to host the long-distance events and the biathlon, “a pillar” of his mountaineering culture, he said, and later the Catalan technicians agreed to take over the alpine ski events. according to El Mundo and confirms EL PAÍS. The commission spread the rest of the tests over the five following sessions and the final agreement designated 54 sports tests for Aragon and 42 for Catalonia. However, Lambán blocked this plan, demanding that half of the alpine ski events be taken over to allow for “equal” distribution. From here, the candidacy entered a back and forth of no-deal negotiations that have led the COE to set the end of the game by at least 2030.
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