The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions wish to submit a joint bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2030, with the ambition of taking environmental issues into account. The two regions, on which the Alps are located, and the French Olympic and Paralympic sports committees “have come together to consider” this candidacy, assured the promoters of the project in a press release published on Tuesday July 18.
The awarding of the 2030 Olympics will take place at the latest during the IOC session preceding the opening of the Paris Summer Games, the organization confirmed in mid-June.
Three Winter Olympics
France has already hosted the Winter Olympics three times. First in Chamonix in 1924, then in Grenoble in 1968 and finally in Albertville in 1992. She had also applied for the city of Annecy in 2018.
For the 2018 edition, France had indeed mobilized to submit an application. Nice is considered for a time. The mayor of this southern city, Christian Estrosi, then had exploratory discussions but finally threw in the towel. Grenoble, which already hosted the Winter Games in 1968, and the tiny town of Pelvoux (Hautes-Alpes) are also hesitating.
Finally, it is Annecy which is chosen as the applicant city to carry the tricolor ambitions. Two poles were planned for the snow, sliding and skating events, one in Annecy, the other in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc.
The cold shower
The ambitions are great. Disappointment too. During the selection in 2011, Annecy received only 7 votes out of 95, Munich 25. The city of PyeongChang in South Korea won hands down with 63 votes. However, the failure is not total and promotes the hexagonal Olympic ambition.
“The candidacy for the 2018 Olympic Games is an ambition for French sport as a whole, with a desire to improve sports practice throughout the territory”, judged then Henri Sérandour, former president of the National Olympic and Sports Committee at the Dépêche du Midi, believing that “being a candidate in 2018 was a good chance to obtain the Summer Olympics in the future”.
Paris having since obtained the Olympic Games for 2024, the French regions can once again give free rein to their winter ambitions. At first tempted to launch each on their own, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes regions finally decided to join forces to present a joint application.