The French Alps are one step closer to hosting the 2034 Olympic Winter Games. OLYMPICS.ORG

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board proposed the French Alps for the organisation of the 2030 Winter Games on Wednesday, after the recommendation from the Commission on Future Olympic Winter Games Host Cities.

Winter is coming… to the French Alps.On the same day that the Executive Board of the IOC decided that Salt Lake City - Utah 2034 (SLC-UT 2034) be put up for election at the IOC Session in Paris on 22-24 July, it also proposed the French Alps for the 2030 Winter Games.

The organisers of France’s candidacy committed to deliver all outstanding guarantees on the 2030 project prior to the IOC Session, but due to the current political situation in France, with elections looming, the documents could not be finalised before the EB decision and is therefore subject to the following being delivered, in accordance with IOC requirements.

Commission Chair and IOC Member Karl Stoss valued the fact that the French Alps had previous experience hosting world championships and world cups, while Salt Lake City-Utah 2034 would extend the transformative benefits of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2002 to a new generation.

“The Future Host Commission is confident that these two Preferred Hosts represent a great opportunity for successful and sustainable Olympic Winter Games,” said Stoss. “As the first Olympic Winter Games editions to align with Olympic Agenda 2020 from planning to delivery, both projects would achieve significant social, economic and environmental benefits for their host communities, while building on their existing expertise in hosting international winter sports competitions”. Excellent venues and strong involvement of athletes in Games planning were another main draw towards the French Alps proposal.

In November, the EB opened two Targeted Dialogues overseen by the Future Host Commission: one with the French Olympic and Paralympic Committees (CNOSF and CPSF) for the French Alps 2030, andthe other with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) for Salt Lake City-Utah 2034. Since then, the IOC has analysed the strategic and technical aspects of both projects and consulted extensively with stakeholders, including the International Sports Federations (IFs), experts from across the IOC, and independent, third-party sources.

The projects are being assessed for different editions of the Games and therefore are not in competition with one another. “These are two very exciting projects, and two very different projects, which clearly demonstrate that there is no one-size-fits-all model to host Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Mr Stoss.

The IOC expressed that the 2030 project had received “strong public and political support” and cited the vision to unite the northern and southern Alpine regions of France under one global “French Alps” banner as an opportunity to achieve long-lasting social, economic and environmental benefits for such a wide geographical region, promoting sustainable year-round tourism and addressing future challenges, including climate change.

French National Olympic and Sports Committee president David Lappartient announces French Alps' bid in 2023. GETTY IMAGES
French National Olympic and Sports Committee president David Lappartient announces French Alps' bid in 2023. GETTY IMAGES

Alignment with existing socio-economic development plans and Olympic Agenda 2020 and Olympic Agenda 2020+5, the IOC’s outlined future roadmaps in order to deliver financially and environmentally sustainable Games, included making use of 93 per cent of existing or temporary venues in four clusters and therefore reducing carbon emissions compared to previous Games.

Legacy plans to make winter sports accessible to everyone, especially people with disabilities and young people were also valued, as well as the opportunities to capitalise on the knowledge and experience of France hosting Paris 2024 and extend some legacy and partner programmes to the winter context.

The report and recommendation of the Future Host Commission will, in accordance with the Olympic Charter [Rule 33], be submitted to IOC Members no later than one month before the opening date of the Session.

The next step in the process will be a virtual in-camera briefing to IOC Members on 26 June. If all requirements are met by the Preferred Hosts, the IOC Session is scheduled to vote on the IOC EB proposals on 24 July.