4 months ago

Reviving the Flame

Travail de Master de Tiffany Duc

The challenge for Sion

The challenge for Sion 2026 is to become the first OWG host city to propose a project based on the Agenda 20 20 and the idea of human size Games. It can be a risk if the city fails to deliver its promises, but if the OCOG turns it into an opportunity, the city can become a worldwide model for organising the first sustainable Winter Games. 5.2. Risks Based on the qualitative interviews, various challenges in different domains exist. A second analysis allowed the author to highlight six risk themes: Environment, politic, budget, communication, stakeholders, and legacies (see appendix X). The number of risks being numerous, the author also classifies them chronologically. As Mr. De Buman (2017) suggests, issues can happen before the bid, during the bid, and during & after the Games. Every answer fit in these three categories, but most challenges are classified before the bid. A reason may be that this is the period during which the data were gathered, which may influence respondent in focusing on immediate risks. 5.2.1. Before the Candidacy Environment There are two main problems that respondents see linked to the environment. The first is the practice of Green Washing, which happens when marketing is done so the brand or organisation seems ecoresponsible but is not in reality. For Mr. Clivaz (2017) and Mr. Crettenand (2017), such behaviour often has a negative impact on people’s trust in sustainable discourses. In addition, Mr. Crettenand (2017) emphasises the issue people have understanding what is meant by “sustainable development”. He believes people either see it as green washing or comprehend it as simple ecology. Politic According to Mr. De Buman (2017) and Mrs Riva (2017), the lack of political support before the bid phase is a clear issue for Sion 2026. The committee needs political alliances for the population to trust them and be interested into their project. Furthermore, the project still needs to be accepted by the Parliament, which renders the situation uncertain for the future of Sion 2026. Budget The budget is the topic at the heart of the current debates. People have a hard time trusting the IOC which is still seen as a corrupted organisation (Reynard, 2017; Felli, 2017; De Buman, 2017). Certain parties in Switzerland have difficulties in deciding whether to support the project or not. A reason given by Mr. Reynard (2017), representative of the socialist party, is the lack of guarantee in case of a deficit. To him it is of importance for the committee to bring clear proof that people will not have to pay in case of cost overrun. Findings 25

This argument is also emphasized by Mr. Clivaz (2017), university teacher at the UNIL. Both would appreciate more transparency on the financial aspects. Mr. Reynard (2017) further explains the paradoxical situation to allocate a 1 billion CHF budget for the OG while the country is under austerity measures in critical domain such as education, or social assistance. Indeed, what is invested for the OG will not benefit other domains (Clivaz, 2017; Reynard, 2017). Lastly, critics are stressing the security budget. The OCOG announced an investment of 106 million CHF for it, though the confederation would add 300 million CHF to it (Clivaz, 2017). What is not clearly explained in the media is the Swiss constitution regarding security during an event: the organiser must take care of safety within its infrastructures and during the competitions, while the Confederation must insure security in the perimeter around the events. Which explains the two budgets and why the 300 millions from the government are not part of the committee’s budget (Crettenand, 2017; De Buman, 2017; Délèze, 2017). Communication Communication is a strong critic in the Sion 2026 candidacy. This topic has two view point: one from the committee’s members, one from outsiders. Many non-committee associates have highlighted the lack of strong statement from the committee to trigger enthusiasm in Switzerland (Riva, 2017; Reynard, 2017; Crettenand, 2017). Mrs. Riva (2017) understands the committee has a vision, though, to her, there is a clear lack of leadership and coherence in their communication strategy. Mr. Reynard (2017) believes there is too much marketing with the project that pictures Sion 2026 as a solution to many issues in our context. Therefore, the committee needs to insure people understand their vision and mission clearly, without showcasing the Games as a problem solver. On the other end, the committee’s representatives see a clear misinformation campaign against the Games. Medias often emphasize the 2%-3% issues arising from OG while the 97%-98% left worked perfectly well and nobody promotes it as much as the issues (Felli, 2017; Stricker, 2017). Stakeholders While stakeholders are numerous in the OG organisation, Sion 2026 faces major risks with the Swiss population. All respondents agree on this issue with some comparing the ongoing candidacy with the 2006 bid. Today, enthusiasm is clearly missing and many people show evident scepticism toward the SME. Therefore, the main threat for the committee is the vote from the Valais people in June 2018 and to be subject to a national referendum (Riva, 2017; Reynard, 2017; Clivaz, 2017; De Buman, 2017; Stricker, 2017; Délèze, 2017; Crettenand, 2017). Findings 26