What was an open secret was confirmed. There will be no candidacy from the Pyrenees for the 2030 Winter Olympics. This was confirmed this Tuesday by the president of the COE Alejandro Blanco, in a detailed press conference where the leader expressed regret for the failed project and for the lack of understanding between Catalonia and Aragón during its construction, although he pointed to Javier Lambán, president of Aragón, as the figure who destabilized the talks so that the candidacy came to fruition. Despite the fiasco, Blanco opened the door for both Catalonia and Aragon to submit individual candidacies for future Winter Games, although not for 2030. “We have destroyed the candidacy at home.”
«It was a project that sought to unite, which started from society, not from politics.
In the end, this sports project has led to important political confrontations based on lies, interests and assumptions. Our rivals must be other candidates, not our own disagreements. We cannot materialize the project we have been working on for so long. The joint application does not exist. We open the possibility that if one of the two involved wants to present a single candidacy in the future, it will be studied by the COE, “said Blanco.
According to the president of the COE, it was the presidents of Catalonia and Aragon who had to come to an agreement. He detailed the president the tug of war for the venues and for the athletes between the two communities involved (Aragon had more tests and Catalonia more athletes). In full schism, it was Aragon who proposed a batch distribution, something that was quickly rejected by the COE and Catalonia. Two visits by the IOC experts were canceled because negotiations between the parties involved were still underway, but the project could not be presented due to internal discussion.
What should have been a show of unity has ended up showing that the political gap in Spain has no limits, even in sports. The candidacy of the Pyrenees for the 2030 Olympic Games began to get bogged down more than a year ago, when the socialist Javier Lambán, president of Aragón, broke the board when he understood that the COE was benefiting from the distribution of sports and venues to Catalonia, the other organizer of the proposal together with the hands. The alpine skiing competitions will be held in Catalonia (in La Molina and Masella), as well as the mountain skiing, snow and freestyle events (in Baqueira Beret), and ice hockey (in the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona). They would go to Catalonia. Aragón, for its part, would host biathlon and cross-country skiing, curling (in Jaca); and speed skating (in Zaragoza).
Since then, the war has gone public. The COE came to accuse Lambán of torpedoing the proposal for “anti-Catalanism” and for “electoral interests” (there are elections next year in Aragon), while the regional president defended that the idea of a unitary Games had been broken by the way for the supposed favor treatment towards Catalonia. «Aragón bets on some games of the Pyrenees, understood as a project of the country, of the State, of Spain. Anything that separates from this proposal will have an absolutely forceful response on our part, which we will take to all national and international spheres, because what would be generating is a very serious territorial and political problem, ”Lombán declared on Monday.
While the storm was passing, the idea was growing from Catalonia that if Aragón did not want to be part of the project, the Government could manage it alone without problems. “Catalonia is here to assume the organization of the candidacy,” said Laura Vilagrà, Minister of the Catalan Presidency.
🔴 Joint COE-CIO Statement on the Winter Olympics. pic.twitter.com/YsnUvk0Wu7
– Spanish Olympic Committee (@COE_es) June 21, 2022
Despite the fact that the Pyrenean candidacy is already a shadow of the past, Catalonia and the COE look to 2034 as the next Olympic goal, an event in which the autonomous community could be the only venue proposed from Spain to the International Olympic Committee to organize the Winter Games .