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9 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

Sports associations see

Sports associations see the Games as a great opportunity to rejuvenate winter sports in Switzerland with 20% respondent strongly agreeing and 47.3% agreeing. Most of these also believe the Games would benefit people with disabilities to a large extend (33.3%) or to a certain extend (33.3%) (see Appendix V). Within tourism actors, the OG can largely strengthen Swiss’ reputation as a winter sport destination (69.2%) and have very good (25.5%) or good chances (43.6%) to increase winter tourism number in the long term. Similarly, to sports organisations, tourism stakeholders believe such SME can increase to a large extend (22.6%) or a good extend (45.2%) the offers for people with disabilities (see Appendix VI). The survey also presents environmental associations’ opinion, which is extremely balanced. 47.3% believe the OG can help promote sustainable behaviour, while only 31.3% see the OG as a leverage to foster sustainable consciousness in the population (Swiss Olympic, 2017). In addition to the environmental concerns, the ongoing debate on the bid focuses greatly on the economic side and the budget demanded by the committee. A high scepticism is directed at the IOC, that is still seen as a corrupted organisation and thus few people believe in its credibility (Reynard, 2017). The greatest fear of the population is the risk of costs overrun, but criticisms are made on the budget allocated to Sion 2026 by the Confederation. Recently, a comparison was made between the 1.2 billion budget of Sion 2006 and the incoherence to have a 2.4 billion budget for 2026 (see appendix VII). To understand the accountability of both candidacies, the author consulted the budgets of Sion 2006 and compared it to the actual one (Appendix VIII). Based on these secondary researches, the following numbers can be presented: Table 2 Candidacy budget for Sion 2006 and Sion 2026 Sion 2006 a Candidacy Sion 2026 b Operating budget 1,262,100,000 CHF 2,076,000,000 CHF From which infrastructures 314,720,000 CHF 100,000,000 CHF Non OCOG budget (governmental investments) 5,527,460,000 CHF 300,000,000 CHF Total 6,789,560,000 CHF 2,476,000,000 CHF Source: Author's table from various sources (a. Comité de Candidature Sion 2006, 1998; b. Sion 2026 Committee, 2016) Clearly, the operating budget for Sion 2006 is lower than 20 years later. Nonetheless, it is the non OCOG budget that brings cost overruns to the event. As one can see here, in 2006, the Swiss government was ready to invest more than 5 billion Swiss Francs, while today, they prefer to insure 300 million for the security and participate to the operating budget for 995 million CHF. In addition to this budget analysis, in 2006, the local government was planning the Games in the canton of Valais only, which implied the construction of new infrastructures: four ice rinks, a speed skating loop, bobsleigh and sledge run, etc. (Comité de Candidature Sion 2006, 1998). Context 21

Today, the committee emphasizes on a sustainable candidacy by using existing infrastructures, collaborating between cantons, and building temporary installations when possible (Sion 2026 Committee, 2016). Furthermore, based on Preuss’ legacy framework, the 2026 bid proposal already unveils what can be considered a legacy in terms of infrastructures: Figure 7 Numbers of infrastructures for Sion 2026 Source: (Association Sion 2026, 2017) For the competition, 19 venues are needed, from which six are already existing and will only benefit from temporary extensions. Six other venues will be temporary and only seven new infrastructures will be built. From these seven new buildings, only one can be considered as an OG legacy. Indeed, the last six are already planned in the city development plan and will thus benefit from the OG only as an accelerator. The same goes with the non-competition venues (i.e. Olympic village). Here, one can thus see that most infrastructures are enshrined in the city development and the OG will impact infrastructural investment to a minimum. If we look again at Preuss’ framework, the six planned venues are in the Field B, which represent all long-term city development matching with the requirements for the event. The new infrastructures, fit in field C, which are all requirements for Figure 8 Legacy Framework, 1st part Source: (Sion 2026 Committee, 2016) the events, not in the developing plan. Furthermore, Sion 2026’ committee also desires to bring long-term legacies. While 20 years ago the highlight was put on infrastructures as heritages, today, the bid targets more intangible legacies that must bring positive changes to the country and for the inhabitants (Sion 2026 Committee, 2017). The committee’s heritages of importance for the author’s communities’ legacies are: sport, tourism, environment, human capital, culture and social domains. Context 22