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future Winter Olympics in France


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By the time of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, it will be 30 years since the French will have hosted the Winter Olympics. Whilst an attempt was made with Annecy and there were murmurings from Nice, the size of the Winter Olympics has reached such a level that it might be difficult for small Alpine towns and cities to economically host the games and not have a series of white elephans afterwards. Temporary facilities can only provide a limited option as the lack of legacy provides a stumbling bloc.

A possible option might be to use an older host which has some of the venues in placed but tied to a larger metropolitan area which could utilise any legacy buildings. Therefore could the next French bid be .....

Lyon-Grenoble 2030

In it's favour

  1. distance between the two major centres is under 70miles
  2. two airports - Grenoble, and Lyon-Saint Exupery
  3. indoor venue
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3. Indoor venues

    - new ASVEL Arena (minimum 10,500 seats)

    - Palais des Sports, Grenoble (12,000 seats)

   -  Patinoire Pole Sud, Grenoble (3,496 seats)  ... Bruleurs de Loops Ice Hockey

   -  Patinoire Charlemagne (4,200 seats) ... Lyon HC

   -  Palais des Sports de Gerland (5,910 seats)

   - Halle Tony Garnier (concert hall 17,000 capacity) ... 210m x 84m so potentially big enough to host a speed skating rink plus 8,000 seats

4. Outdoor venues

    - Stade de Gerland (43,000 seats) or Parc Olympique Lyonnais (59,186 seats) for ceremonies

    - Bobsleigh at L'Alpe d'Huez ... track closed but never demolished so potential to be upgraded and reopened? - new refrigeration technology could help overcome the problem of the south facing aspect

    -  Ski jumping at Autrans which has a 97m hill already and the potential to be expanded

    - the Chamrousse hill which has a vertical of 850m and the Le Recoin with a 600m vertical

So a mix of old and new, modernised for the games all within a maximum radius of 108 miles making it comparatively compact by modern standards ... even using existing modern facilities like La Plagne (bobsleigh) and Courcheval (Hills) would only add an extra 30miles to the radius of all the venues.




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If only Lyon was much closer to the ski resorts in that region it could easily win a bid to host the winter games. Val D'Isere, a regular stop for the annual alpine skiing world cup, is a 3hrs drive from Lyon. They are fully capable of handling all alpine skiing disciplines. 

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I actually think Lyon is France's best shot at Winter Olympics. However, I don't think Grenobe is the best area for mountain venues. It's infrastructure is lacking compared to Savoie. Grenoble has a train station but it's still far from the different resorts for example. And these resorts are not ready to host international events, so it would require a lot of work. It's feasible, but I think Savoie is more practical.

The venues used for Albertville are still here, and could be reused. However, that valley (Tarentaise) is very narrow and urbanized, and I actually don't think there is any space left to build an Olympic Village and a Media Centre...

The Maurienne area, however, could handle it. The new Lyon-Turin high train link should be open by 2025, and it goes through the Maurienne valley. To reach St-Jean-de-Maurienne by train from Lyon would then only take 1h30. From there, there are several mountain resorts around 15 minutes away. They could still use La Plagne for Bobsleigh/Luge/Skeleton, even though it's quite far from Lyon or Saint-Jean, and maybe even Courchevel for Ski Jumping.

Regarding the arenas in the city of Lyon, I think the new ASVEL Arena could host Ice Hockey, the Palais des Sports (around 5,000 seats) could host Curling. However, Halle Tony Garnier is too narrow to host speed skating (84 meters when the oval itself is 70-meter wide, I feel like it's not enough if you have to include seating and concourses around it). However it could be the secondary hockey venue, with 6,000 temporary seats. Figure Skating could be hosted inside one of Eurexpo's halls. And they could build the speed skating oval next to it, so that it could be converted into an exhibition hall after the games. Eurexpo could host the IBC/MPC.

Stade de Gerland should host the ceremonies. Winter Olympics are in the middle of the football season and i don't think OL (which owns the new Parc OL) would want to give their stadium away for a month. Gerland also has the advantage of being inside the city and next to several other venues and the Confluence area (where the Olympic Village could be located).

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On 3/30/2017 at 2:06 PM, Nacre said:

If the IOC was OK (or should I say "d'accord") with Denver and Beijing, I don't see why it would object to a Rhone-Alps bid from Lyons.

The Denver bid was over 40 years ago, during a time when the winter Olympics did not have the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of visitors it has now. It's easy to shift around a few thousand people from city to ski resorts when there were also less disciplines and events.

And Beijing wasn't a landslide victory. It only had 4 more votes than Almaty. If it wasn't for that rail they were building to significantly decrease the distance between the city and the mountains those 4 votes could have easily gone to Almaty, who had no proximity problems.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Actually Lyon as a potential French WOG can perfectly work if there are some issues to be solved, like the good propositions which DamC gave. Also, that would bring a sole spotlight to the second most important city of France (Politically and Economically speaking) and the second biggest french urban agglomeration outside of Paris shadows.

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  • 3 months later...

If Annecy had bid for 2022, they would have won in a landslide. I don't think the Lyon distance would be an issue. The IOC is at the point now where if they want to keep traditional winter hosts in the running, they will have to make concessions on issues like the distance from the mountains to the city.

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On 8/12/2017 at 2:24 PM, hektor said:

Toulouse I think would work. With a ski resort, for instance in Andorra.

I don't think this is a great idea. Sure the proximity to the ski resorts are there, but I don't think Andorra is equipped to handle Olympic-sized events. You also have no ski jumping venue and no sliding track venue in the area. The Savoie has both of those venues already in place and ready to be used for an Olympic games.

Plus, joint country bids should really only be allowed if neither country is capable of handling an Olympic-sized event all on their own. Clearly that isn't a problem for France. So a Lyon bid still looks more favorable.

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  • 4 months later...
On August 16, 2017 at 12:05 AM, baron-pierreIV said:

WIth Paris hosting 2024 and it is so successful, perhaps Annecy might have a chance for 2034:  I'm guessing

2026 - Europe (Innsbruck or Sion)

2030 - perhaps Calgary

2034 - back to Europe (maybe France? loser of 2026; or ALmaty?) 

2038 - the US? 


It appears that the USOC has tried hyping up a Winter Olympics in either Salt Lake, Dnver, or Reno for 2026 or 2030, but to me, I can't help but think that the IOC was involved in this. With the US committed to 2028 in LA, and is almost committed to FIFA 2026, it seems like the IOC is really doing their best to try and bring back bids, as with LA or Salt Lake hosting again, two of the most successful Olympics, it will create a better image to erase Sochi and Athens. However, I know they would love a European bid as well, so it's tough to call. I think if Sion or Stockholm stays around, they'll get 2026, then with 2030 either going to Calgary or Salt Lake. 2034 may be looking better for Annecy. 

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