Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Felipe Menegaz

South America Winter Olympics

Recommended Posts

When and where the first Winter Olympics will be held in South America?

I guess Santiago for the 2026 Winter Olympics, in a bidding process in 2017-19, after a sucessful Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if Chile and/or Argentina are able to develop their winter sports scene and get some golden medals in the winter olympics it will be easier to convince the IOC it is possible to compete and win off season. IMO, it's quite odd that Brazil, a country with no mountains and almost no snow takes roughly the same number of athletes as Argentina and Chile to the WOG. It would be interesting to see their reaction to a South American bid now, but the pleas would be more effective if South America produces winter champions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the growing reluctance in Europe, the IOC might in the not too far future indeed contemplate Southern Hemisphere Winter Games, with a bit of creativity for the sports and TV schedule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s time for a South America city to bid for the Winter Games.

Which one? What city is going to invest that kind of money knowing their only hope is to convince the IOC and all the sport federations to completely throw off their calendars and to do it in a World Cup year, no less. We are still a long ways off from a Southern hemisphere city having a real shot at the Olympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd think that with the 2022 Qatar WC switching to winter, that year would have ben the ideal opportunity for that if ever there was. But the boat's now been missed for that opportunity, and I don't think it would be that simple anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure that, with seven years(!) advance warning, the sport federations can figure something out.

Do they WANT to figure that out? Sure, they could adjust the calendar to accommodate a Winter Olympics in the Southern winter. How much money do you suppose that will cost them to do so? Is the benefit of opening themselves up to the Southern hemisphere enough to offset what they lose with that 1 year with the Olympics? At the point when the answer to that question becomes 'yes' then we can talk about a Southern hemisphere Olympics. Until then, it's not happening.

It amazes me sometimes the number of people here who want to bring up these types of hypotheticals but then don't want to acknowledge the consequences or pitfalls of doing it as if it's no big deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do they WANT to figure that out? Sure, they could adjust the calendar to accommodate a Winter Olympics in the Southern winter. How much money do you suppose that will cost them to do so? Is the benefit of opening themselves up to the Southern hemisphere enough to offset what they lose with that 1 year with the Olympics? At the point when the answer to that question becomes 'yes' then we can talk about a Southern hemisphere Olympics. Until then, it's not happening.

It amazes me sometimes the number of people here who want to bring up these types of hypotheticals but then don't want to acknowledge the consequences or pitfalls of doing it as if it's no big deal.

So walk us through the consequences.. how much money would it cost them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So walk us through the consequences.. how much money would it cost them?

Okay, well let's start with the obvious. They'd be trying to sell winter sports during the summer. Pretty sure most people aren't going to be into bobsled and cross-country skiing when it's 80 degrees outside in the majority of the world. So yea, good luck with that one.

You also have the matter of the sports' respective World Cup seasons. In an Olympic year, you have increased interest in all the World Cup events (less some people, especially people in this country, think these sports don't exist outside the Olympics). Push the Olympics back 6 months and suddenly those lead-up events aren't so important anymore.

And it's not like these sports can hold World Cup events whenever they want. Kinda hard to hold winter sports when the weather isn't right and it's not like there's a whole lot of hosting options in the Southern hemisphere. Good luck with that one.

Then there's the matter of that other event that takes place during a Winter Olympic year. So instead of leading up to a February Winter Olympics when the preceding few months on the calendar are relatively clear of major international sporting events, now that lead-up is running up against the World Cup. Not exactly a good formula to get people interested in Winter Olympic sports and Winter Olympic athletes.

I can't put a number on how costly that would be, but those are the pitfalls. This isn't an event like the IAAF Worlds or the FINA worlds where you can more easily set up a schedule to accommodate wherever you want to put it on the calendar. Not going to happen with all these outdoor sports and that's not going to work for the athletes if you turn their biggest showcase into a 1-off event not surrounded by all the World Cup and other events where an FIS or a FIBT makes their living the rest of the time.

So that's what you're up against with a Southern hemisphere Winter Olympics. These are not small issues for all the sport federations. Again.. maybe there is a lot for them to gain by putting a Sochi-like or a PC-like winter resort somewhere in the Southern hemisphere. But is it worth the disruption to an entire year's calendar to get that? Ask FIFA how that's working out for them with Qatar 2022.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if Chile and/or Argentina are able to develop their winter sports scene and get some golden medals in the winter olympics it will be easier to convince the IOC it is possible to compete and win off season. IMO, it's quite odd that Brazil, a country with no mountains and almost no snow takes roughly the same number of athletes as Argentina and Chile to the WOG. It would be interesting to see their reaction to a South American bid now, but the pleas would be more effective if South America produces winter champions.

Is this the best way of approaching bids, though? A successful bid can be an enormous boost to winter sports in a country where winter sports are not deeply entrenched; it's certainly more likely to increase interest in winter sports than in a country where that interest is already high. Rather than reinforcing the interests of repeated hosts, should the games be awarded to potential olympic powers to help them tap into that potential and boost overall competition?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, well let's start with the obvious. They'd be trying to sell winter sports during the summer. Pretty sure most people aren't going to be into bobsled and cross-country skiing when it's 80 degrees outside in the majority of the world. So yea, good luck with that one.

I'm just not sure this is a problem. Do people only want to watch "winter" sports in winter?

The biggest draw in the Winter Games is ice skating. That's televised year round.

Next up is, what, hockey? Their highest ratings are the playoffs, which go through June.

Can't say much about cross-country skiing. But are the ratings for that really going to be lower in summer than winter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just not sure this is a problem. Do people only want to watch "winter" sports in winter?

(...)

Can't say much about cross-country skiing. But are the ratings for that really going to be lower in summer than winter?

Just a theory, but my guess is people won't want to watch cross country skiing in the Northern hemisphere summer heat because they are reminder if cold season ahead, or would prefer watching stuff that they can go practice right after switching off the TV? Or maybe it's completely different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a theory, but my guess is people won't want to watch cross country skiing in the Northern hemisphere summer heat because they are reminder if cold season ahead, or would prefer watching stuff that they can go practice right after switching off the TV? Or maybe it's completely different?

In the US, nobody watches cross country skiing anyway, so I have no perception of what people would watch in a coutry where it is popular.

But I do know people watch, say, golf in winter even though they can't go practice right away. What about soccer/football... do people watch in winter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just not sure this is a problem. Do people only want to watch "winter" sports in winter?

The biggest draw in the Winter Games is ice skating. That's televised year round.

Next up is, what, hockey? Their highest ratings are the playoffs, which go through June.

Can't say much about cross-country skiing. But are the ratings for that really going to be lower in summer than winter?

Yes, key part of that sentence.. "go through." People watch hockey in June because they've been watching since October. The playoffs aren't some event placed in the middle of the schedule that people are suddenly supposed to pick up on. And you'll have to point me to a schedule for figure skating where big events are televised during the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see a southern hemisphere country hosting the Winter Games, at least not soon. There really aren't many options for such hosts - only Argentina, Chile, Australia (Tasmania) and New Zealand have any real potential to host the Olympics in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, cities capable of hosting the winter games in the Southern Hemisphere are highly limited. Buenos Aires - arguably the South American city most likely to receive the games after Rio - is far too warm for the Winter Olympics (in the coldest months, the average low is still in the 40s). Santiago isn't much colder. For the Winter Games, Argentina or Chile would have to choose cities further south and there aren't really that many options. The options that do exist are pretty isolated and small. Moreover, doesn't it seem far more likely that if/when Buenos Aires (or Argentina generally) or Santiago (or Chile generally) do make a bid, they will do so for the summer games rather than the winter games. Argentina would be foolish to choose a city other than Buenos Aires for a bid and Buenos Aires is a summer-time city - same can be said for Chile and Santiago. I suppose a city like San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, could bid but I just don't see why Argentina would make a serious bid for the Winter Olympics - which it is very unlikely to get and which it would have to host in a remote and lesser known city like Bariloche - when it could make a serious bid for the Summer Games to be held in Buenos Aires which is a world-class city that is capable of hosting the games.

Hobart, Australia could conceivably host the Winter Games - but Hobart would be the most remote locale ever chosen and isn't anywhere near prepared enough to make a reasonable bid - it may be a wealthy city in a wealthy country, but it is small and located far from... everything. The infrastructure there, due to the location, is nowhere near what would be required AND Tasmanians have a notable distaste for things seen to have a negative environmental-impact. New Zealand, honestly, is the only country in the Southern Hemisphere that I could see making a realistic bid for the Winter Games and only with Christchurch as both Auckland and Wellington are too warm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hobart? Pah. I'd expect Canberra to be more likely than Hobart.

They'd probably have a new main stadium come bid time and could actually make use of a 10,000+ seater arena for major sports events and more importantly, concerts. The slopes at the Perisher Valley would host some alpine sports, with a modified Thredbo (most likely artificially heightened by 128 meters, which will still make it shorter than Mt Kosciusko), serving Downhill events. The alternative would be to take an undeveloped slope on a mountainside and excavate at base level to increase the height to the 800 meter needed for Men's Downhill.

A potential new exhibition and convention centre could serve as Main Media Centre if the complex is large enough, or be for exclusive use by the IOC as their facility, with the attached hotel being their main base.

The International Airport has been recently upgraded for potential future International flights (again) and as the city constantly touts this airport as Sydney's 2nd airport solution, one could see major international flights in this facility.

It could work and when Australia wins more and more medals, one could only hope that someone actually floats the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally can't see a Winter Olympics in South America happening any time soon. I recon at least another 2 Summer Olympics after Rio 2016 will happen before a Winter Olympics in South America, with Santiago, Chile in the 2040's and Lima, Peru in the 2050's hosting a Summer Olympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only Australian city close to able to host the Winter games is Canberra, and even that's a big, big ask. While the nights can get quite cold (certainly, below zero at night for the duration of the games would be possible), there is very rarely snow and even less often, snow cover. The mountains aren't exactly close, there's nowhere near enough accommodation, and the venues built would have questionable legacy value unless Australia really pushed the idea of becoming a hub for off-season training. Even a Youth WOG would be a stretch, although it's a stretch I'd love to see the AOC take. NZ is a much better possibility for a YWOG, in Otago (Dunedin/Queenstown).

Santiago could host a great WOG (hell, it could host a great SOG too... hey everyone who remembers the robbed Santiago bid in the competition last year...), but it wouldn't really be on the cards either, which is a shame. Another option is Bariloche, which again, would host a great games (although relatively 'Boutique'), but Argentina's economy is a lot shakier than Chile's, and it has all the other problems that the Southern Hemisphere has.

It's not fair, but it's the truth - unless nobody up north wants them, or the IOC makes a conscious decision to host them in the Southern Hemisphere and declines bids from the north, it simply won't occur. Give Bariloche or Otago a YWOG and celebrate that much, fellow southern hemisphereans ;)

------------------------------------------

Just as an aside, Melbourne is actually not an awful choice for a youth WOG either. It's slightly further from useable snowfields, but it does have the benefits of being an international city and could more or less handle the new venues without them becoming white elephants, at least relative to Canberra. It also has the hotel rooms, strong hosting pedigree across various sporting events, and the local population would snap up tickets pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canberra could host and Canberra could present a decent plan. In addition if the existing Ski Tube were to be doubled (as per original plan) and extended all the way to Canberra, then this would not only be a boost to tourism, would solve the public transport problems from Canberra to the Perisher Valley.

You could easily have the following plan:

Existing:

AIS Arena - 2,700 - 3,000 - Curling

New Canberra Stadium (if built by bid time) - 40,000 - Ceremonies

Perisher Valley - Snowboard, Freestyle Skiing, Cross Country Skiing

Thredbo (with an artificially heightened slope to 800m vertical) - Downhill events

New:

New AIS Arena - 7,000 - Ice Hockey II

AIS Speed Skating Oval - 6,000 - Speed Skating

Canberra Arena - 10,000 - Ice Hockey I

Thredbo - Ski Jumps

Thredbo - Sliding Centre

Perisher Valley - Biathlon Course

Temporary:

Ice Palace (relocated to Brisbane post Olympics, to serve as their new arena) - 14,000 - Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating

If we ever do bid, this would probably be the way to go.

Edited by Lord David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Canberra is kind of notorious for lacking accommodation, though. You'd have to build a good few thousand hotel rooms, and you'd have to build them in a way that many could later be sold as apartments... although then there'd be a glut of apartments then :P

There is a significant number of on-campus rooms between UC/ANU/ADFA (about 3,500) which could do the job if they'd be acceptable, but while you could get away with that for a YWOG, not sure about an Olympics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sochi has lowered the standard for accommodation to "freestanding structure that has not yet toppled over (bed optional)" so i have a feeling there's room for some flexibility there.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...