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  • Encouraging Words for Barcelona Winter Bid


    (ATR) The Catalan dream to organize a Winter Olympics has taken a step forward.

    The Olympic Stadium in Barcelona (ATR)
    Two important figures from the IOC, both very familiar with Barcelona, heard more about the plans during a visit this week.

    IOC vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs said that this Olympic project "makes a lot of sense and is a good idea" during the meeting at the Museum of the Center for Sports Studies.

    Also at the meeting, IOC deputy director Pere Miró, himself a Barcelona native. Miro worked with Samaranch’s father when he was IOC President during the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992.

    Miró said it is “possible" that the Pyrenees and Barcelona can host the Winter Olympics as long as it is a project "of country, city, that makes sense and can serve to improve society."

    Speaking from Lausanne after returning from the Barcelona meeting, Miró confirmed to Around The Rings that "the project is being studied and that there is a will to dialogue".

    According to the Secretary General of Sports of the Generalitat of Catalonia the meeting June 26 was to "exchange views" with the IOC on the possibility of hosting the Winter Games.

    EFE news agency says both Samaranch and Miró explained the new rules in the selection and organization of the Olympic Games. The two men offered the beginning of an informal dialogue to the members of the Catalan project.

    "It is necessary to work from now on and also in unity among all the actors involved: the Generalitat, the City of Barcelona, the State, the sports fabric and civil
    The participants at the meeting this week about the Barcelona Winter bid.
    society," said Samaranch.

    Samaranch says the new conditions for bidding set forth in the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020 "the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are more affordable”.

    Gerard Figueras, Secretary General of Sports of the Generalitat said Winter Olympics "will leave an important legacy".

    In September, a new phase of collaboration with the IOC will begin with experts working with local sports institutions.

    In parallel, the sports ministry will explain the objectives of the candidacy to the population of Catalonia says Figueras.

    A more detailed proposal of what’s needed to host the Winter Games will follow.

    It would appear that the Catalan aspirations are tied to 2030, given the advanced state of discussions between the IOC and six other possible bids for 2026.

    Spanish Olympic Commitee president Alejandro Blanco has insisted that to make the Catalan Olympic dream come true it must be "a project of the State and respect for the laws".

    Blanco refers to the political tension between Catalonia and the national government over the Independence of the región.

    Blanco is currently in Tarragona, a port city in the northeast of Catalonia, site of the Mediterranean Games, ending July 1.

    "I think the great success of these games is that they have been able to unite. These will be remembered as the games of understanding,” the Olympic leader was quoted in sports newspaper Marca.

    The 28th Mediterranean Games were inaugurated on June 22 with 4,000 athletes from 26 National Olympic Committees from the three continents that surround the Mediterranean Sea.

    Reported by Miguel Hernandez . For general comments or questions, click here .

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