Urs Lehmann and Swiss Olympic Candidacy for 2030 Winter Games: An Important Step Towards Hosting the Olympics

2023-11-21 14:27:22

President of Swiss-Ski for 15 years, Urs Lehmann is one of the personalities in favor of a Swiss candidacy for the 2030 Olympic Games. The Aargau resident is working hard to make this happen.

The sports parliament must endorse the Swiss Olympic candidacy on Friday during its annual general meeting in Ittigen. In an interview, Urs Lehmann (54) spoke about “chance unique” for Switzerland to host the Winter Olympics for the first time since 1948.

But at the same time, he warns against unpredictable elements and reminds us that there is still a long way to go before the decision of the International Olympic Committee.

Urs Lehmann, the decision that the sports parliament will take on Friday regarding a candidacy for the 2030 Olympics is a pure formality, right?

URS LEHMANN: I can’t judge it definitively. Obviously, I hope that the sports federations will support this candidacy. But every democratic process has unpredictable components.

– Are you hoping for a result with as few opposing voices as possible, or even without any?

URS LEHMANN: My hope is that Swiss sport sticks together when we have such a unique chance.

An important intermediate step

For the candidacy, what does this Friday represent?

URS LEHMANN: An important intermediate step. But we must be aware that we are not yet at the finish line. Yes, there is a feasibility study which concluded that Switzerland could organize the Games. Switzerland also meets the conditions of the new concept put in place by the IOC. This relies on existing infrastructures, which can be decentralized within a country. We also carried out a survey of the population regarding a candidacy, and the response was positive.

– What other answers are you still waiting for?

URS LEHMANN: Switzerland is a living democracy and we still need to provide many concrete responses to our concept if we want to continue to benefit from the support of the population. For example, the roles of the Confederation and the cantons in matters of security still need to be clarified. We know that the project is very ambitious in terms of timing. But we went faster than we thought at first. This makes me very happy, but there is still a long way to go.

– What is there in particular on this path?

URS LEHMANN: The targeted dialogue with the IOC, who will take this step with two other candidates in addition to us. Without going into details, we still have many imponderables ahead of us. We must see this transparently.

Priority

– The opportunity to organize the Winter Games in Switzerland seems especially possible for 2030. Is this also your opinion?

URS LEHMANN: Yes, a unique opportunity exists for 2030. We understood this in the spring when sources from the IOC approached us. In such a case, it is in my opinion justified that other events take place afterwards.

– Are you referring to the multi-sport European championships, which are a priority for summer sports federations?

URS LEHMANN: It is also planned for 2030, but there is no concrete project yet. Discussions on this subject should be expected on Friday. But the two manifestations should not be put in opposition. We also want these multi-sport European championships in Switzerland. The question that arises for me is how to make these two major events coexist in the best possible way.

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