The Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) is looking for new allies and raises carpets. The president of the Committee, Alejandro Blanco, extended his hand to the municipalities of the Aragonese Pyrenees that want to be part of the Olympic bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, even without the support of the Government of Aragon. “Whoever wants to participate will be welcome”, he encouraged them. The Olympic leader in turn combated the idea that the current proposal is “unfair”, as the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán, denounces, and made ugly that political issues have interfered in the technical agreements. “The governments were informed of what was being negotiated in the meetings,” he assured. Blanco, in any case, did not specify a definitive proposal and was open to resume talks next week with all the institutions and stations interested in being part of the project.
The candidacy is currently in a “risk” situation, as Blanco admitted in the face of the political blockade. “We are in a hurry because the rest of the candidates have advanced,” she admitted. The disagreements have forced the COE to cancel the visit of the technicians of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have already visited the rest of the venues or have plans to do so in the short term.
The COE considers that the candidacy will continue to be seductive for the IOC, and intends to move forward based on the work done. However, the Olympic leader rejected a solely Catalan candidacy. “It’s not the idea,” he said, after insisting that the project had entered a dangerous phase due to the political blockade. Members of the COE point out between corridors that much of the responsibility lies with the president of Aragon, Javier Lambán, for his continuous complaints about the distribution of evidence.
The first alarm went off when Lambán rejected at the end of March the technical project that his own representatives had approved in the Technical Commission created for it. The DGA was absent from the meeting called to sign the agreement with the central government, the Generalitat and the Committee itself because it did not consider it fair. Blanco was dissatisfied with Lambán’s position because “from the beginning, the three governments were informed of how the technical debates were going.”
The pact of the Technical Commission, says Blanco now, included the request of the Aragonese team in snow sports: “to host the long-distance and biathlon tests”. Catalonia then asked for the rest: alpine, snowboard and freestyle. Ski mountaineering was left without a location at first. “The debate about snow lasted as long as it took me to explain it,” he evidenced. Aragón would also host curling (Jaca), figure skating and ice speed disciplines (Zaragoza), while Barcelona would host ice hockey. The distribution granted 54 tests to Aragon and 42 to Catalonia, although the latter had 300 more athletes. The ice tube tests (bobsleigh, luge Y skeleton) are contemplated in an international headquarters to be decided. “The important thing is the number of tests,” Blanco said.
The president of the COE also responded to another of Aragon’s claims: to represent the three Aragonese Pyrenean valleys. “We proposed to pass part of the tests of freestyle [actualmente ubicadas en Baqueira] to Aragón to use the Cerler rinks and, in exchange, relocate part of the ice skating to Catalonia, but they didn’t accept it either”.
Lambán’s public reproaches through social networks and the refusal of any counterproposal from the COE especially bother the president of the Committee and the rest of his interlocutors, who have suspected for weeks that the actions of the Aragonese Executive have an electoral background. Blanco, in any case, avoided entering the melee: “I am not going to respond to your statements.” This same Monday, Lambán once again questioned in Cope the decisions of the president of the COE during the organization process. “Blanco was disconcerting us because we were verifying that he was dedicated to trying to drag Aragon to the positions of Catalonia, which we cannot accept.”