Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.
The International Olympic Committee suffered a defeat at the polls in Sion and Valais, Switzerland on Sunday as voters rejected a chance to help fund the 2026 Winter Olympics in that area. It was the second time in 15 months that a Swiss area said no to the 2026 Winter Games and continues a pattern of voters rejecting the Olympics. What makes this particular loss stunning to the IOC leadership is simple. The IOC has its headquarters in Switzerland. Swiss voters said no to a 2022 bid as well and the IOC is lashing out at the voters. In a statement, the IOC blamed the loss on “outdated information on the cost of the games.” There are people in Colorado who are pushing for the 2030 Winter Olympics but the same people plan to ask Colorado residents if they are willing to put up money for a 2030 Denver Olympics. The IOC does not want public input or referendums. The results from Innsbruck, Austria, two votes in Switzerland, a massive pushback against spending for a 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston, the refusal of the mayor of Rome, Italy to support a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, the financial problems in Brazil and South Korea are adding up.
There is a reason the IOC bent whatever its rules it has and took Los Angeles as the Olympic city for the 2028. Los Angeles and California were willing to put up at least $500 million to cover whatever cost overruns that the Games will incur. Other than Paris, which was given the 2024 Olympics and Los Angeles, city after city, country after country has said no to the IOC’s major event. There are still six candidates for the 2026 Olympics. Calgary Stockholm, Sweden, a three area in Italy bid, Sapporo, Japan which would rather bid for the 2030 Games, Turkey and Graz, Austria. Only Turkey seems to have a solid bid.
The IOC needs a new message.