Samaranch and Pere Mirؚó await an agreement to save the 2030 Pyrenees Olympic Project

“I am confident that common sense will prevail,” Samaranch said. “There is no deadline” for a decision on the joint candidacy, clarifies Miró

Candidatura Pirineos 2030 es un proyecto pais
Candidatura Pirineos 2030 es un proyecto pais

Two important personalities from the international Olympic world, the Spaniards Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs and Peré Miró, have expressed their hope in a definitive agreement, allowing them to formalize the candidacy for the Winter Olympic Games in the Pyrenees in 2030.

The expectation about the fate of a candidacy depends on the presumed consensus of the governments of the communities of Barcelona and Aragon, as the deadline of May 20 for that agreement by the Spanish Olympic Committee draws near.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) visits to the other 2030 candidate cities have already started, with Sapporo (Japan), Salt Lake City (USA) and Vancouver (Canada) the main contenders. The inspection of the Pyrenees remains in a holding pattern.

01-01-1970 The RFEDI and the RFEDH come together to support the Olympic candidacy of the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 project
SPORTS
RFEDI/RFEDH
01-01-1970 The RFEDI and the RFEDH come together to support the Olympic candidacy of the Pyrenees-Barcelona 2030 project SPORTS RFEDI/RFEDH

“If there is no will to all row in the same direction and leave the political game out of the Barcelona Pyrenees project, there will be no Games, for sure,” said Samaranch, a member of the IOC for 21 years, on Monday.

He will assume again as vice president of the IOC after the conclusion of the 139th Session that will take place virtually and in person this Friday, May 20. Samaranch Jr. already held this position on the Executive Committee from 2016 to 2020.

The high ranking member of the Olympic Movement has asked to put aside the fights “and go together,” because if “we are fighting, it is better not to go.”

“I am confident that common sense prevails and we can have a good candidacy,” he commented.

For Samaranch, all the technical indicators point to the fact that “great Games can be held in the Pyrenees” and repeat the success of the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary on July 25.

A springboard jumper, during the 10-meter test, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. In the background, the city of Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia temple. EFE/Txema Fernández./File
A springboard jumper, during the 10-meter test, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. In the background, the city of Barcelona and the Sagrada Familia temple. EFE/Txema Fernández./File

The Olympic leader conveyed his reflections at the premiere of the cycle on stellar moments in the Catalan capital, organized by The New Barcelona Post, a journalistic project to promote the main spheres of the city.

Faced with the current moment of lack of agreement between Catalonia and Aragon, and the discrepancies within the Catalan territory itself, Samaranch recalled on the path to obtaining the venue for the historic 1992 Summer Olympics “the fights were also impressive” but in the end they “all got into the same boat and rowed in the same direction.”

He said despite the political fights these days “if we solve it in time, we will go well.”

“The Barcelona brand —he added— continues to be an eminently Olympic brand, highly successful within the Olympic world.”

Samaranch insisted, unlike 30 years ago, the Olympic Games have taken a radical turn since the IOC rejects projects whose facilities do not make sense for the development of society.

“For 16 days that the Games last, we will go on the same train. We do not need new highways or airports,” he emphasized.

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Samaranch reiterated the Winter Games have a cost of between $1.6 and 1.8 billion. Of this figure, the IOC pays more than half from its own funds. The rest are covered with the sponsors of each territory and with the sale of tickets.

“All the Winter and Summer Olympics in the last 20 years have made money, they are not in deficit,” he said in a message also addressed to critics who point to the high cost of the event on Catalan soil.

In a similar line of reflection this Tuesday, Pere Miró, special adviser to the presidency of the IOC, specified “there is no deadline” to make a decision on the joint candidacy.

“From the IOC, the process to choose an organizing city or country goes through a process of permanent dialogue and we have not set any date. This dialogue is being developed not only with the Pyrenees but with other cities in the world. So for us that limit does not exist,” he added.

This was commented in a statement to Catalunya Ràdio according to the EFE agency.

He specified the IOC does not oblige to carry out any type of consultation in the applicant territory.

Miró said in his long career at the IOC he has experienced “hundreds of potential candidates and there are always internal problems, of course.”

“Aragon has great potential, and Catalonia too. Within my neutrality there is a report from an IOC technician who was in Catalonia and assessed the facilities very positively. Therefore, Catalonia has great potential, a great level, Aragon has another, and from here on, it is always better to add than to subtract”, he assured.

Miró also warned of the need to assess the global context and the potential of the rest of the candidates. “There is a very large interest, as it is public, from Salt Lake City, Sapporo and almost certainly Vancouver. So decisions are not made based only on the potential of a candidacy, but on this and others,” he said.