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Why Sochi is not in the Alps

A selection of counterarguments and field reports concerning the Winter Olympics in the Alps can now be found on the CIPRA website. © <<ToNy>>/flickr

The idea of the Alps as a venue for the Winter Olympics is these days scarcely conceivable. CIPRA has now produced a review of the reasons underlying this, the experiences gained from the candidatures of Annecy, Salzburg, Munich and Graubünden (Grisons), and what remains of the Turin Games.
The Alps have already staged the Winter Olympics on several occasions, most recently in Turin in 2006. Yet recent years have seen the failure of every candidature from the Alps. Some, like Salzburg for 2014, were rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which gave preference to more powerful candidates. In this case it was Russia with Sochi. Others were rejected by referendum, such as happened last year in Graubünden and Bavaria for 2022. "Too much democracy" was the comment of Pablo Cortina, coach of the German ice hockey team. So much for "Fairness in Sport".
An appraisal of the experiences of past games and candidatures shows that the Winter Olympics are irresponsible in the form in which they are currently staged, benefiting only an elitist minority and with everyone else a loser. In democracies such as the Alpine countries, the Winter Olympics now face heavy opposition. People are no longer prepared to accept uncontrolled gigantism, environmental damage, incalculable costs and the diktat of the all-powerful IOC.
For CIPRA's analysis of the Winter Olympics see: www.cipra.org/en/olympics
Further information: www.cipra.org/en/press/press-releases