French regions mull joint bid to host 2030 Winter Olympics

It is more than 30 years since France last held the sporting extravaganza

The bid could bring the Games back to France for the fourth time
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France is looking to continue the momentum of Paris 2024 by bidding to host the Winter Olympics in 2030.

Two regions with territory in the French Alps are exploring the possibility of making a joint application.

Discussions are ongoing between Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur and France’s Olympic and Paralympic committees.

A decision on whether to make an official bid is expected in September.

Hosting a Winter Olympics would be “a tremendous opportunity to continue the momentum of Paris 2024,” said David Lappartient, the president of the Comité national olympique et sportif français (CNOSF).

If successful, it would be France’s fourth time hosting a Winter Olympics – Chamonix hosted the inaugural (amateur) Games in 2024, followed by Grenoble in 1968 and Albertville in 1992.

Annecy submitted a bid to host the 2018 Winter Games but lost out to Pyeongchang in South Korea.

No official bid yet

The two regions have not officially made a bid but are assessing the possibility of jointly hosting the winter sporting extravaganza.

“A joint study, involving all the relevant government departments, will be carried out in the coming weeks,” the regions announced in a press release.

The two regions, which both cover extensive parts of the Alps mountain range, have sufficient firepower to launch separate bids but believe a joint bid is their best opportunity.

“Our belief is that [with a potential clash] of two French bids, nothing would have been right," said Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

Alongside stretches of the Alps, the regions host major cities including Lyon, Marseille, and Nice, as well as winter sport hotspots in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie departments, meaning the games would need minimal sporting infrastructure to be built.

If made, the bid would centre around being a ‘zero-carbon’ Olympic Games event.

The potential bid will “take into account the challenges of preserving biodiversity and the acceleration of global warming,” said the press statement.

On top of this, the regions highlight the "need to use existing infrastructure [...] some of which dates back to the 1992 Albertville Olympic Games”.

They also highlight how organisation costs should be minimised and funding will come “essentially from private sources (partners, ticket sales, etc)”.

"Our goal is to embody this turning point in the spirit of Olympism. We want to create the first sustainable Winter Olympics," said Mr Wauquiez.

Any French bid for 2030 Winter Olympics would face stiff competition

A number of other bids are expected for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

A joint bid from Stockholm-Âre, which lost out on hosting the 2026 contest, is likely to be made and touted to be among the favourites.

Salt Lake City in the US is also said to be extremely interested, and Sapporo in Japan (which hosted the Games in 1972) is also interested but could defer its bid to 2034 or later.

Aside from these main contenders – all of which have declared interest through their National Olympic Committees – other bids could come from Switzerland, Canada, Kazakhstan, Georgia, or Saudi Arabia.

A supposed three-way ‘Mont Blanc’ bid between Chamonix, Valais (Switzerland) and Aosta (Italy) was reported, but Chamonix mayor Éric Fournier said it was “not on the town’s agenda” and that there was public opposition to the idea.

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