Winter Olympics 2030 in the Alps: how did France manage to convince the International Olympic Committee?

Winter Olympics 2030 in the Alps: how did France manage to convince the International Olympic Committee?

THE IOC selects the French Alps to host the 2030 Winter Games. (…) What pride! As Emmanuel Macron recalled on November 29, the day of the announcement, the honeymoon continues between France and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Competing against Sweden and Switzerland, the French project now finds itself alone in the race to organize the 2030 Winter Olympics. Unless the situation changes, the French Alps represented by four territories (Haute-Savoie, Savoie, Briançonnais and that of Nice) will see skiers and skaters, among others. The formalization should occur next summer.

The lure of taxation

After winning the Paris 2024 Summer Games, France is therefore doing a double blow, having been chosen three times in a century – Paris and Chamonix in 1924, Grenoble in 1968, Albertville in 1992. Where does this come from? new idyll? “It is not so much that the IOC appreciates France, but the fact that it is in a logic of survival,” explains Patrick Clastres, historian of sport and the Olympics at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). . Fewer and fewer countries are providing guarantees and showing the political will to organize such an event. This amounts to billions (1.5 billion for the Alps 2030 and 4.4 billion for Paris 2024) and public opinion is increasingly refractory. So, the IOC picks where it can.

France’s strong argument lies in the support of the State. “Historically, the latter has rather served French applications, the IOC being wary of its fiscal and regulatory intrusions,” recalls Patrick Clastres. So our country has worked to give pledges. Under its “Olympic” law passed on March 23, 2023, the State renounces certain of its prerogatives, particularly fiscal ones, during the Games. Likewise, France will tax sponsors’ profits very little and will let the IOC organize the policing of brands, in other words the hunt for ambush marketing. “As Coca-Cola is an IOC sponsor, you won’t see a Pepsi ad. France guaranteed it,” says Patrick Clastres. When you have to seduce the Olympic Committee, big money is never far away.

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