November 29, 2022

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Winter sports and cross-country skiing |  Skateboarding stars are slaying a huge multi-billion dollar project: - It's hopeless

Winter sports and cross-country skiing | Skateboarding stars are slaying a huge multi-billion dollar project: – It’s hopeless

Holmenkollen (Nettavizen): – It feels a bit “a hole in the head,” says national team player Evin Northoj to Netavisen.

He and several members of the national cross-country team are reacting to the fact that Saudi Arabia has been awarded the Asian Winter Games in 2029. Essentially, an unexpected venue for a winter sports event.

The tournament will take place in a futuristic winter sports city called Trojena. The project will be part of NEOM, a mega-city that will be built from the ground up in the desert, which will cost an incredible 5,000 billion Norwegian kroner.

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– Stupid

Ina Tin, political advisor for Saudi Arabia at Amnesty Norway, believes that the country’s awarding of winter sports can be linked to sports laundering.

There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia is on a mission to add as many large and prestigious sporting events to Saudi Arabia as possible. They are trying to associate themselves with positive propaganda, as part of building an “image” related to something other than what Saudi Arabia has been criticized for for so many years, and rightly so, she told Nettavisen.

Cross country skier Eric Valnes doesn’t think a country like Saudi Arabia organizes a winter championship.

– It doesn’t smell good, isn’t it. Winter sports have to be done in a place where it’s winter, so it’s boring if money controls such things a lot, he tells Netavizen.

Valnes is supported by his national team-mate Northog.

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– I’m a fan of bringing winter sports to people and it can be a great way to get people involved in winter sports, but Saudi Arabia is getting more ‘superficial’. He says he looks stupid.

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– Hopeless

The Asian Winter Games are expected to be part of Saudi Arabia’s plans to host the Olympic Games sometime in the future, which will be the country’s ultimate goal in sporting events.

Harald Østberg Amundsen reacts to the massive spending associated with the Winter Games, and does not understand why Saudi Arabia, which does not have a tradition of winter sports, should only organize this.

– I think this is a hopeless use of money. First, they don’t care about skiing at all. Second, building something like this would be incredibly energy intensive. If you think about the environmental aspect of this, he says, it’s absolutely unfavorable.

The 24-year-old wants to use the money for something completely different.

– If in a few years they find out that they are incredibly interested in skiing, they may prefer to come here first and maybe try cross-country skiing or alpine skiing, and then they can think about whether they should have a snow hall. But don’t build huge facilities that will never be used after the tournament. It’s absurd, says Ostberg Amundsen.

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– Frightening possibilities

It is the Saudi investment fund that will finance the construction of the city. It is the same fund that bought English Premier League club Newcastle earlier this year.

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– It’s a country with nearly unlimited resources in that it’s the world’s largest oil producer, and now there are high oil and gas prices, says Tin at Amnesty International.

The project is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious projects of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and it contains the latest and best technologies in the world of technology.

– It is a development project based on continuous monitoring and control of the population who will live there. The project also means that the groups who lived in the area will be displaced. Ten said one of those protesting was killed by security forces, and three others were recently sentenced to death for criticizing the development.

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Despair

Saudi Arabia is a country that is heavily criticized by various human rights organizations. According to Ten, among other things, freedom of expression in the country is completely suppressed, they have unfair legal procedures and extensive use of the death penalty and torture.

It is simply a country that violates human rights in one region after another, not just occasionally, but systematically, she explains.

Cross country skier Ostberg Amundsen despairs that such a country is allowed to stage major championships. In less than a month, the FIFA World Cup Qatar will also kick off.

– It’s so embarrassing that it becomes a regular occurrence, whether in the winter tournaments or football or everything, you have to add it to countries that don’t have traditions for these things, but they have a lot of money and they want to show off. Then you see the other side of that where all the workers are working in terrible conditions. More stringent requirements should have been put in place and perhaps there should have been an administration that dared say no to such applications, he believes.

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