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CIPRA's point of view: The Alps are far too valuable for the Olympics

Mar 12, 2013 / alpMedia
The result of the vote held on 3 March 2013 in Graubünden is clear: 52.7% are against the Winter Olympics being held there in 2022. This example shows that there is no desire for gigantism in the Alps.
Image caption:
Rejected: The people of Graubünden voted by a majority against the Olympic torch and all the related hype. © Tommkelly /
Whether in idealistic or financial terms - and most certainly not ecologically - is there any place for such grandiose projects. The vote against the Olympics in Graubünden will strengthen sustainable development throughout the Alpine space - and possibly beyond.
The propaganda campaign organised by the supporters of the Games proposals fell flat. Some 5 million Swiss francs (around 4.2 million euros) were spent on the failed project, while their opponents had just 76,000 francs (63,000 euros) at their disposal.
The project was particularly popular with those who expected to make a profit or raise their profile thereby: the proposed venues of St. Moritz, Davos and Lenzerheide, not to mention an elite from the worlds of politics, business and sport. Others were not dazzled by such promises, however.
Rejection of the planned Winter Olympics by the voters of Graubünden means that a favoured candidate of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is now out of the running. Does this mean that the chances of Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the other potential Alpine candidates, will now be boosted?
On the contrary: the number of critics of the Olympics in Germany is increasing in light of the debate unleashed by a renewed application by Munich. Since the rules and mechanisms are exactly the same, the counter-arguments that convinced the Swiss hold equally true in Germany. The Winter Olympics are not a democratic project contributing to the Alps and their sustainable development: they are simply an expression of the elitist goings-on of a few profiteers who circle around the IOC, financed by the public. Even with the best will in the world, nothing will change while this IOC dictatorship persists. We should therefore dedicate ourselves to real needs and lasting solutions.
Source and further information: (de), (de)