June 29, 2022

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Politicians disagree over Norwegian Olympic bid

Politicians disagree over Norwegian Olympic bid

In November, the Norwegian Sports Federation (NIF) set up a commission to set the mood in Norwegian sport for hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, as well as buildings likely to form the basis for a new submission round.

The work will be presented this weekend at the NIF management meeting in Tromsø – the city that ironically did not get the NIF an application for the Olympics in 2018.

No final decisions will be made at the management meeting, but the committee will provide an answer to the Sports Council on whether or not Sports Norway will hold the Olympics. If the answer is “yes”, the NIF will start working politically.

Members of the Norwegian Parliament’s Committee on Family and Culture give the impression that the two sides have very different attitudes towards the future Olympic Games on Norwegian soil.

Committee Chairman: – We are optimistic about looking at it

TV2 sent the following two questions to each party (FrP, Høyre, Venstre, Senterpartiet, Arbeiderpartiet and SV) in the Commission:

  • How does your party react to such mathematical exploration?
  • Will your party go ahead with a potential Olympic bid, or should Olympic plans be put on hold now?

the majority not A potential Olympic bid rejected.

I think it is good that the sport is looking for such an opportunity. If major sporting events are to be organized on Norwegian soil, such as the Olympic Games, it is important that the initiative come from the sport itself, says Committee Chairman Grund Allmeland (V).

Positive for the Olympics: Parliament Representative Grundy Allemand (V), Chairman of the Committee on Family and Culture. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB

Will your party continue preparing for a potential Olympic bid, or should Olympic plans already be put on hold now?

Olympic Exploration Committee

  • Mina Gerhardsen (leader)
  • Marco Safadi (Sports Council)
  • Astrid Orenholdt Jacobsen (sports actor)
  • Lena Schroeder (sports actress)
  • Axel Lund Svendal (sports actor)
  • Mona Adolfsen (Norwegian Ski Federation)
  • Arne Horten (Norwegian Biathlon Association)
  • Anne Farsyth (Norwegian Athletics Association)
  • Stein Bo Morland (Agder Sports District)

It’s too early, of course, to say yes or no now, but the Liberal Party and I’m optimistic given this. What is important in any case is to stop the very unfortunate development where major sporting events are added to authoritarian countries. I think that democratic countries should realize their responsibility, including Norway.

There are many basic requirements that must be met

Moving the Olympics to Norway in 2022 was halted when the conservative parliamentary group backed down in October 2014.

The vice chair of the cultural committee is conservative politician Taig Petersen, who is also the chair of ice hockey. He notes that he is speaking as hockey head in connection with this article.

As an ice hockey representative, the Winter Olympics in Norway would have obviously been fantastic. But there are quite a few preconditions, which we were also clear about in the counseling, that must be in place for us to say yes to them. Among other things, the whole country must be used in a completely different way than before, and we must ensure that the facilities are reused. In other words: Olympics are cheaper and easier than we’re used to, he says.

– So you did not take a final position before the meeting of the National Islamic Front?

– no. As a union, we’ve agreed to work towards the Winter Olympics, but with a list of measures that have to be in place before we can sign off with a ‘yes’.

Positive for the Olympics: Parliament representative for the Conservative Party, Taj Petersen, is also the president of the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation.  Photo: Yngve Sem Pedersen/TV 2

Positive for the Olympics: Parliament representative for the Conservative Party, Taj Petersen, is also the president of the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation. Photo: Yngve Sem Pedersen/TV 2

Petersen notes that the meeting in Tromsø is important because there will be no point in moving to the political level “if the sport is not 110 per cent sure that this is something we want to do”.

Like many other members of the Culture Committee, he points out a number of buildings that must be in place before applying for the Olympics.

Avoiding the battle of geography by exploiting the whole country. It’s about using the facilities already in Norway as much as possible. It’s about us doing it in a sustainable way. And it has to do with the fact that it is Norwegian values, not least, that should form the basis for the Olympic Games in Norway. It wasn’t the IOC’s values ​​– which I feel might change a little bit now, he says.

Positive government parties

If it is decided to apply for the Olympics, one will ultimately rely on a majority in Parliament to obtain the necessary state guarantee.

The next Winter Olympics, in 2026, will be held in Italy, but the 2030 Games are still without an organizer. The host country will be appointed at the IOC meeting in Mumbai, India, Spring/Summer 2023.

SV . answer

“I think the sport itself must decide if they want to work for it, and then we must take a stand on the question when there is really something concrete on the table,” says Culture Committee member Kathy Lee (SV).

– I am very fond of sports, especially winter sports, and I thought it would be incredibly fun if we could experience the fun of great sports on Norwegian soil again, but the Olympics became a huge money drain with a huge climatic impact. The IOC has a big job to do in terms of democracy and economy before the Norwegian Olympics are relevant

– I also expect the Sports Council of Norway to take the lead and set IOC requirements regarding gender equality and equal treatment, both in terms of women’s participation in all sports and in terms of pairs athletes. This sports duo doesn’t hold the cheese prize – as Jesper Saltvik Pedersen did at the World Cup last winter.

The Center Party stated in its platform that it “will strive for Norway to host the Winter Olympics in 2034 with a focus on reusing arenas, creating new arenas or restoring existing arenas in areas where there is a need for new or newly restored arenas.” At the same time, the focus should be on decreasing the climate footprint.”

– We in the Center Party are very positive that the sport wants such exploration, says the other Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Åslaug Sem-Jacobsen (Sp), a spokesperson for the party’s sports policy, and confirms:

– If the sport itself is going to bid to host the Olympics, we have mentioned in the program that we will work for an Olympics in 2034. But it should not be too expensive, it should be based on reuse, the climate footprint should be low and we should take a clear stand against abuse Doping and corruption in sport.

Labor colleagues in the government describe themselves as “generally positive” about the idea.

– Now it is the sport that you should check, and then we will take a stand on this if it becomes relevant. We are of course generally positive with Norway’s ability to host major international sporting events, something we have also included in the Hurdal platform, says Åse Kristin Ask Bakk.

Not the time to waste billions on a “pampering party”

The FrP national meeting returned in 2014 against Norway, which applied for the 2022 Olympics.

Eight years later, there is still significant opposition.

Negative for the Olympics: Parliament Representative for the FrP, Silje Hjemdal.  Photo: Ole Enes Ebbesen / TV 2

Negative for the Olympics: Parliament Representative for the FrP, Silje Hjemdal. Photo: Ole Enes Ebbesen / TV 2

Sports, of course, are completely free. However, I think this is not the time to waste time and a lot of money on such work, as the sport is also in a difficult situation after Corona with dropouts and high electricity prices. Now one must focus on maintaining and facilitating good sporting facilities for its residents. Children and young people should be in a special position here, says panelist Selji Smddal.

Will your party continue preparing for a potential Olympic bid, or should Olympic plans already be put on hold now?

Frp and I think this is not the time to waste billions on a “pampering party”. Spending huge sums at the Olympics will be seen as a mockery of all those who are now suffering from high expenditures for electricity, fuel, high interest rates, etc. – companies as individuals. It should be the role of ordinary people with Labor and the Center Party in government – it is safe to say that they marked the bank account after the change of government. Now everyone has to pay more for the greater part while the state makes money in the treasury. So, in my opinion and that of FRP, the Olympic plans should be scrapped now, she says.

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