10 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

Recommendations n°26

Recommendations n°26 desires to “further blend sport and culture”, which targets the locals, but also the worldwide population and the arts. Several ideas propose to engage with people to generate a positive dialogue about the Olympic Movement. As well, the IOC wants to create an Olympic Laurel to reward “outstanding contributions to Olympism” may it be in culture, education, development and/or peace. In December 2014, the IOC’s president, M. Thomas Bach, made a strong statement to initiate their will to change their organisation: “You can inspire others to change, only if you are ready to change yourself” (IOC, 2014, p. 4). The ideals of the Agenda 20 20 are to foster changes through sport to improve societies, economic stability, international relationships, or environment. What the IOC addresses with this agenda is their credibility, and their organisation by strengthening their good governance, transparency and ethics. Such complex planning needs according to M. Bach, cooperation, which will allow the OG to become more sustainable and more ethical (IOC, 2014). 4.5. Sion 2026 Following two lost bids against Salt Lake City in 2002 and Torino in 2006, the city of Sion in the Swiss Alps chose to bet on the Winter Olympics 2026. This section introduces the reader to the why and where the OWG would be organised in Switzerland. Surveys for the 2026 Games in Sion are presented here to understand various stakeholder’s opinion. The author also depicts major debates the bid is facing. Differences between the candidacy of 2026 and the one from 2006 in terms of budget and infrastructure are then explored. Finally, the legacies the committee desires to create are presented. Sion is the capital city of the canton Valais, entirely located in the Swiss Alps. The Canton’s economy evolved from an agricultural to a tertiary sector. Today, important activities include the industries of energy & construction, agriculture, and tourism (Canton du Valais, 2014; UNIL, 2017). In 2010, more than 73% of working people in the canton worked in the tertiary sector (Canton du Valais, 2016) (Appendix IV). Tourism represents 17.8% of the canton’s jobs and 14.5% of its GDP (Bilan, 2016). Given the ongoing context of Switzerland, the area is directly experiencing the different legislation voted by the people: a reduction of secondary home building possibilities, climate changes influencing winter season, and a decline in number of locals participating in winter sports. For the committee, Sion 2026 is the international event needed to revitalize not only the Valais’ assets, but Switzerland’s qualities and values as a whole. The Games can be used as an accelerator to foster sustainable and technological developments, emphasize Swiss know-how and capability to work as one, encourage the Swiss population to engage with sport again, and rejuvenate winter tourism while enhancing a four-season strategy (Sion 2026 Committee, 2016). Context 19

Modelling their plan on the Agenda 20 20, Sion 2026 (2016) proposes a candidacy based on sustainable development, long-term legacy and controlled budget. Indeed, its vision is to: “make of Sion 2026 the success story of the Olympics’ revival by offering, in a spirit of sustainable development and financial control, simple but modern, tested but provocative and especially memorable Games in the mountain, arousing a worldwide desire to live winter sports where the lakes meet the Alps.” Bearing this in mind, their mission wants to: Figure 4 Logo Sion 2026 Source: (Sion 2026 Committee, 2016) “Make Switzerland proud by completing the challenge to organize in 2026 renewed Games; stimulating sport practices for all, exploiting the Swiss know-how to create a magical moment and a sustainable legacy that will give the opportunity to revalorize winter sports experience.”. To attain this plan, the OCOG proposes to work with a several cantons to maximize the use of existing infrastructures. Thus, ice sports will take place in Fribourg, Bern and Vaud, and snow sports in Valais. A priority will be given to public transports to reduce CO2 emission of visitors and sportspeople. To do so, a project with the Swiss train company will propose more frequent and larger transportation along the “Olympic Ring”, linking the four key competition areas (Vaud, Fribourg, Bern, Valais), other public transports will then take over from each of these zones. Furthermore, the non-sportive infrastructure (i.e. Olympic Village) will focus on self-sufficient and eco-responsible buildings. Lastly, the committee will favour local companies and workforces to increase linkages within Switzerland rather than leakages. Their strategy wants to highlight the possibility to organize “human size” Olympic Games, by using existing infrastructure, favouring sustainable development and transportation, as well as benefiting the local population. All these strategies are directly based on the 40 recommendations proposed by the IOC in their Agenda 20 20. Figure 5 Swiss' map, areas of the Games Source: (Swiss Olympic, 2017) Figure 6 Swiss' map, Olympic Ring Source: (Sion 2026 Committee, 2016) While the project sounds perfectly set for the Games’ renewal, feasibility studies and evaluation were made to determine stakeholder’s opinion. A Swiss Olympic’s survey (2017) shows that the OG are wanted by most sports organizations (96.1%), businesses (66.7%), and tourism bodies (89.8%). Context 20