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Point of view: the enlightened Olympics-free Alps

Nov 13, 2013 / alpMedia
The referendum decisions against "Munich 2022" and "Graubünden 2022" prove that the Olympic spirit is dead. Simply not everyone has yet noticed.
Image caption:
Barbara Wülser is Communications Manager at CIPRA International. © CIPRA International
Nobody knows for sure when exactly the Olympic spirit finally expired. It must have been sometime in the 1990s. It still participated in the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz in 1948 and celebrated the end of the Second World War, along with the heroes of sport and life on and alongside the podium. Half a century later, in 1992 in Albertville, it fought against the grasping fingers of money and megalomania, but could do nothing for the despoliation of the environment any more.
By the middle of the 1990s it was probably already in intensive care; it was unable to prevent the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from introducing a new rule that meant that the Games would only be awarded to cities that would cover any losses by themselves.
By the time Turin 2006 came around it was no longer present, otherwise it would have struggled with all its remaining strength against the ecological and economic madness that saw municipalities in the mountain valleys of Piemont saddled with billions in follow-on costs, which burden them to this very day.
It will be looking down from its cloud no. 7 to Sochi in February 2014 and, along with numerous others, will be asking why its progenitor, the IOC, let the Winter Olympics go to a region with a subtropical climate. It will be grieving that, in its name, democratic principles are being trampled underfoot and a world nature heritage site is being destroyed.
Only the IOC has not yet noticed that the Olympic spirit is dead. The functionaries keep rubbing the magic lamp, promising the spirit heaps of money that it will just come out and bedazzle all people. If that does not work, as has happened in the Alps in March 2013 in Graubünden and now again in November in Munich, they still have a plan B: they let themselves corrupt by autocrats and contract the Games to totalitarian states where citizens have no say.
Barbara Wülser, CIPRA International
Sources and further information: (de), (de)