The Catalan government has approved the creation of a programme to prepare Catalonia’s candidature for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games Pyrenees–Barcelona 2030. The initiative is based on its assessment that organising the event would be an effective way to raise Catalonia’s profile abroad and promote economic and social development, especially in the counties of the Pyrenees.
Elsa Artadi, the government spokesperson and presidency minister, said the government wants to ensure that the candidature is evaluated as thoroughly as possible to maximise the chances of success if it is eventually presented to the International Olympic Committee.
“The government sees the project as a great opportunity to rethink the relationship between Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia, especially the Pyrenees region – in relation to sport in general, not just winter sports, as well as communications, sustainability, and a forward-looking project for the people who live in the Pyrenees,” said Artadi.
The spokesperson said the government’s goal was to “see how we can use a sports project to rethink the country. We’ll take advantage of this opportunity to engage in a broad public debate on where we want the Pyrenees to be in five, ten, twenty years. We want to put the Pyrenees on the map, both internally and internationally.”
“We need to focus on the perspective of the Pyrenees. That means listening to the people who live there. They need to be given the chance to articulate their vision of the future and say how they want to take advantage of this opportunity,” she added.
In line with this principle, the government will work to develop a proposal “based on the principle that it’s the Games that should adapt to the territory, not the other way around”. Artadi also said that sustainability, respect for the environment, gender equality, and equality of opportunity will be central to any proposal.
The candidature programme will coordinate collaboration with other public administrations, entities and bodies, and with any social, sports and regional actors who become involved in the Olympic project. The specific objectives are to share information and experiences in the field of sport, particularly international sports competitions; study and analyse the challenges that presenting an Olympic candidature would pose for Catalonia; and take advantage of the technical expertise of agencies and entities of the Government of Catalonia in relation to competitive sporting events.
Since 2017, the government has led a permanent working group on the Olympic Winter Games 2030 that includes some fifty representatives of public and private institutions. Participants include the main Catalan public, sports and business institutions, and the overall aim is to prepare a candidature for Catalonia.