The French Alps and the Mediterranean city of Kaç are unlikely candidates to host the 2030 Winter Olympics.
The International Olympic Committee executive board confirmed France at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday, saying France was the preferred host because the IOC had entered into exclusive talks with French organisers.
It is only in the last few months that a bid combining France’s snowy Alps region and the Riviera resort has come together to compete with Sweden and Switzerland for IOC support.
The IOC has also flagged Switzerland’s bid for the 2038 Olympics with “privileged dialogue” status, while Salt Lake City is likely to host the games for a second time in 2034.
France’s partial victory on Wednesday is a triumph for national Olympic committee leader David Lappartient, who is president of cycling’s governing body.
Lappartient sought to establish close ties with IOC president Thomas Bach even before last year, when he became one of about 100 IOC members.
France will host the Winter Olympics for the fourth time after Chamonix in 1924, Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992.
How will the Alpine/Mediterranean Winter Olympics work?
The 2030 Winter Games are just six years away, and this has already become the latest Olympic hosting decision in recent years. A decision will be made next July, 5.5 years before the planned opening ceremony.
So how will it work?
It is understood this will be a ‘split’ Olympics, with different venues taking place in recent years such as Sochi, Beijing and Vancouver.
Nice will host indoor sports such as figure skating, hockey, short track speed skating and curling; Alpine skiing events will take place in the French Alps, where Grenoble, Albertville and Chamonix have previously hosted the Winter Olympics.
CNOSF president David Lappartient said 95 percent of the sites that will host the Games are ready and a budget of 1.5 billion euros has already been transferred.
Part of this figure will go to the construction of an ice rink in Büyük.
The 2026 Winter Games will be a ‘split’ Games, spanning northern Italy and focusing on the city of Milan, which hosted the 1956 Olympics, and the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
these games set up to use an ice slide path in neighboring Switzerland or Austria because Italy doesn’t have a functioning venue. Speed skating is also likely to be held in Turin, on the same rink used for the 2006 Winter Olympics, after organizers in Milan rejected plans to build a roof over the outdoor arena.
Who were the other favorites?
Long-time 2030 favorite Sapporo officially withdrew last month as Japan’s sentiment towards the Olympics soured amid bribery investigations linked to preparations for the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2021.
Vancouver, the host of the 2010 Winter Games, also withdrew, and Salt Lake City’s focus turned to 2034. This was to avoid conflict with the United States, which has hosted consecutive Olympics after the 2028 Los Angeles Summer Games.
In January, as the IOC appeared to have little choice, Swedish Olympic officials were approached about making a ninth bid for the Winter Games. The last loss occurred in Stockholm in 2019, when IOC members selected Italy’s Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo team for 2026.
HE Stockholm bid revivedbut apparent caution about progress quickly left the door open for offers from France and Switzerland, close to the IOC’s home in Lausanne.
“I’m incredibly disappointed,” Swedish bid leader Hans von Uthmann said in a statement. “We had a strong concept to stage the most sustainable games of all time, but we don’t currently have the opportunity to showcase that vision to the world.”
The future of the Winter Olympics
Due to climate change, the IOC is running out of options to host the Winter Games.
The Olympic body estimates that only 15 countries across three continents can meet the criteria of having at least 80% of available venues for snow sports and a “climate-sound” outlook for staging future years’ events.
Having charted a Winter Olympics future for almost two decades, Asia’s next opportunity to host looks set to be in 2042; perhaps Sapporo, Japan or even Saudi Arabia, which has established the Trojena ski resort to stage the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
A long-term IOC plan is a rotation policy for a small pool of regular Winter Games hosts, such as Salt Lake City.