HOLMENKOLLEN (Nettavisen): In 2010, the existing ski resort in Holmenkollen was on standby at NOK 1.8 billion.
Today, there are more people who despair about the situation in parts of the facility.
The plan was initially for Holmenkollbakken to be a year-round facility, but after 13 years and two city councils, Holmenkollbakken remains unused for large parts of the year.
Kollenhopp and the Norwegian Ski Association have been working for several years to turn Holmenkollen into an all-year facility by adding plastic to the ski jump, but it still lacks final approval from Oslo Municipality, which owns the facility. This is despite the fact that the Ski Association itself intends to arrange financing.
Now the bourgeois side in Oslo together with the Conservative Party, the Progressive Party, the Liberal Party and the Christian People’s Party give full support to the project.
– When you look at the total cost of putting on plastic, it’s almost ridiculous that it wasn’t actually done when you consider how much has been invested in this jump facility from the start. There should have been year-round shopping here a long time ago, city council member Lars Peter Solas (Frp) tells Nettavisen.
Erik Lai Solberg, Oslo Hoyer’s city council leader candidate, told Nettavisen that they will now challenge the current city council to start work as soon as possible.
– You can have a hill that can be used all year round instead of four months. For me, it’s a “no-brainer,” Solberg says.
– 30 million Norwegian kroner
Kollenhopp’s Erlend Munkeby has worked with the Ski Association for the past three years to convince Oslo Municipality to put recycled plastic into the national facility, in order to create a year-round slope for the delight of athletes, spectators and tourists alike.
“It all takes a very long time,” says Munkebi.
The Ski Federation and Kollenhopp were initially rejected by the municipality for a joint team, but after a long time they were given the go-ahead to fund the project through, among other things, private funds.
Munkeby explains that in 2020 a preliminary project was set up with Norconsult, who estimated costs to put plastics in Holmenkollen would be around NOK 30 million.
The manager at Kollenhopp explains that NOK 15 million of this could be funded by a money tip because Holmenkollen is a national facility, while NOK 5 million comes from VAT compensation.
– Munkeby said the remaining 10 million Kollenhopp and the Norwegian Ski Association said they would be able to get.
He adds, however, that they are relying on a new price estimate as the previous estimate was made three years ago, but that the ski federation is still willing to provide the funds.
I do not approve of the initial project
However, Mnkebi feels there is little development in the project, as the Oslo municipality has called for an entirely new preliminary project. Monkibe says the project will cost NOK 3 million.
– We believe that the preliminary project has been completed, but it does not quite fit within the framework of the Oslo municipality. We think Oslo Municipality can cover the additional costs, or that we can continue with what we have and that we agree on a financing plan. Then we can get started and raise money,” Monkebe says.
Solberg, the city council leader’s candidate, believes the municipality should be able to contribute to a solution.
– Any additional bill because the municipality wants a special kind of initial project, to which the municipality must contribute, but which must build on the work already done. Oslo municipality should be able to spend a few hundred thousand kroner on that, Solberg says.
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And Høyre’s representative is also quite clear that plastic at Holmenkollen is something that should be prioritized.
– I think cross country jumpers and combined sports would really enjoy having a national facility available all year round. It inspires all those who have to do training at a lower level.
– We have to be smarter in Oslo municipality to see how we can launch good projects with little or no municipal money. These are low hanging fruits that the Oslo municipality can easily pick and then have a great facility that will be available year-round, Solberg says.
Argue about priorities
But the SV City Council for Culture, Sports and Volunteerism, Omar Sami Jamal, believes that the project will come at the expense of sports for children and youth.
– It’s a priority that provoked me, Jamal wrote in an email to Netavizn.
Jamal explains that he is optimistic about plastic in Holmenkollen, but does not want to spend tax money on it.
– I use every penny of the municipal budget to make up for the backlog after the last time the governors ruled, and we spend a lot of money on popular sports facilities across the city, but we still have to be sober, says Jamal.
– This is a good example of what citizens will prioritize in terms of sports facilities if they gain power in the city. We have said all along that our first priority is sports facilities for children and young people.
The city council is now calling for a new draft.
Holmenkollen is an important facility for Oslo. It has been heavily renovated and is used year-round for cross-country sports, as well as large professional show jumping events.
– Our people are now working out what an agreement with the Ski Association might look like. We need to do a proper initial project so that we and the Ski Association know the cost of plastic to the Earth.
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Sports should be left with a hand on the wheel
However, Lars Petter Solås at Frp builds on work that has already been done by the Ski Association.
Unforeseen events cannot be 100 percent predictable, but the most important thing here is that the sport and show jumping have done a good ground job that can be trusted.
When it comes to finance, sports alone contribute a lot. We should facilitate this project instead of sitting on our hands contemplating whether we should allow it. Here we have to release good energies and let the sport have a hand at the wheel. We have to be the team player they’re looking for,” says Solås.
The FRP, together with the Conservative Party, the KrF and the Liberal Party, will give the city council a clear message in hopes of reaching a solution this summer regarding the revised budget, so that the land can be plastic ready by the summer of 2024.
– They do not need to negotiate once. We support this and want to make a decision regarding the revised budget. Then we can confirm this in the city council that this is what we are seeking, Oslo municipality supports this, and we will see this next summer, says Solås.
Right-wing representative Solberg, like Solås, hopes the project will actually go through, but promises to work anyway if they win the election in the fall.
– We’re going to challenge the city council to start this action now. Then they have our full support. If they don’t do it for incomprehensible reasons, we’ll fix this if we win the election in the fall, says Oslo city council chairman candidate Hoyer, backed by KrF and Venstre.
– It’s fun to be involved in supporting such good initiatives, says Caroline Grosas-Nordbo at KrF.
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Combined Norwegian national team runners Jarl Magnus Rieber and Ida Marie Hagen are both very positive about Colin’s plastic jump.
Riiber and Hagen both came home with WC golds this winter at Planica, and are already working on preparations for next season.
Both agree that they would like to have a large hill available in the capital all year round.
– It is the best facility in the world that is used very rarely. In the summer we jump more. In the winter we ride World Cup races, but in the summer we train. The ability to make Holmenkollen a year-round facility will increase employment and tourism at this facility here. There are countless positive things that would make Kollen better with plastic, Riiber tells Nettavisen.
– The land is here all the time, but it is used for two months a year. I hope this becomes a thing, because I think there should have been plastic here a long time ago. It’s not just us big athletes who use them. There are also many young people jumping here, says Hagen.
Olympic vaulting champion Marius Lindvik is now hoping for a change in Colin. He was tired of having to travel for several hours to jump a big hill in the summer.
– It will give us the opportunity to train on big slopes in the Oslo region in summer and winter. Then we don’t have to travel all the way to Lillehammer or Trondheim. It’s definitely something I’ve wanted for years now. It’s great that there’s talk of making this happen, Lindvik tells Nettavisen.
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