The French National Olympic and Sports Committee has caused bemusement with their decision to put forward the famously sunny city of Nice as a potential host of the 2030 Winter Games.
Ahead of hosting next year’s Summer Olympics, France has officially submitted its application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2030 Winter Olympics too.
The snowy Haute-Savoie region has been put forward as a fairly obvious potential venue for the Winter Olympics, but adding typically sunny Nice in the mix seems like a bold choice.
France faces two serious competitors for the 2030 Olympics - Switzerland and Sweden, both known for their more appropriately wintery climes.
The French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) aren’t letting something like year-round sunshine stop them though.
“They are clearly two real big adversaries. Sweden failed for 2026, but it has real assets, as for Switzerland, it is also a very serious candidate. It could be close,” one source close to the Olympic committee is quoted as saying.
How would a Nice Winter Olympics work?
It’s thought that, if France is successful in its bid, Nice would host the indoor sports of figure skating, hockey, short-track speed skating and curling.
Alpine events would take place in the French Alps: where Grenoble, Albertville and Chamonix have already hosted Winter Olympics previously.
CNOSF president David Lappartient says 95% of the sites which would play host to the Games are already in place - and a €1.5 billion budget has already been floated.
Some of that figure will go towards the construction of ‘an ice rink in Nice’, according to a source with knowledge of the French bid.
The initial decisions on who will have the honour of giving the Winter Olympics a home in seven years will take place in three weeks time. In an event held in Paris from 28 November, the IOC Executive Board will decide which candidates it will choose to move to the next phase of bidding.
The final choice for the host will be made during an IOC session in 2024. It’s likely to be held in France if the nation is still in the running - or outside of the country if it’s not.
CNOSF are confident they are capable of hosting the event - regardless of the opinions of detractors.
“We have a real chance. The timing is good and our infrastructure is attractive,” David Lappartient told AFP, adding, “We believe that the 2030 Winter Olympics can be to the Winter Olympics what Paris 2024 is to the Summer Olympics... with sustainable, economical games.”