International Olympic Committee not consulted in Saudi Arabia choice for 2029 Asian winter Games

The IOC says it was not involved in the decision-making process to select Saudi Arabia to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games

The IOC says it was not involved in the decision-making process to select Saudi Arabia to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games

The International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday it was not consulted on the Olympic Council of Asia’s decision to select Saudi Arabia as the host of the 2029 Asian Winter Games.

The selection for the 2029 Games at the OCA General Assembly on Tuesday raised eyebrows in the sports world, with the largely desert country of Saudi Arabia experiencing only rare snow and no winter sports infrastructure or tradition.

It also means that all or most of the venues needed for this multi-sport event will have to be built from scratch.

“The IOC was not consulted about the OCA’s decision regarding the Asian Winter Games and was not involved in the decision-making process,” an IOC spokesman said.

“For the IOC, sustainability is a key pillar of the 2020+5 Olympic agenda,” the official told Reuters, referring to the IOC’s Olympic Games reform plan aimed at reducing costs and downsizing the Olympics to make them more attractive. to potential future host cities.

  • Saudi Arabia was chosen to host the Asian Winter Games
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Sports, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vowed that the country's winter sports project "to challenge perceptions"

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vowed that the country’s winter sports project would “challenge perceptions.”

Saudi Arabia plans to build a mountain resort in the Gulf state’s $500 billion NEOM flagship project.

The TROJENA development is expected to be completed in 2026 and will offer outdoor skiing, a man-made freshwater lake and a nature reserve, according to the project’s website.

“For the Olympic Games, the IOC made it clear in the Olympic Agenda 2020+5 that there is a clear priority for existing venues. If these do not exist, the use of temporary venues is encouraged,” said the IOC spokesperson.

“If none of these work from a sustainability perspective, the respective events can even take place outside the Olympic host country. The IOC also requires organizing committees to achieve climate-positive Olympic Games by 2030 at the latest.”

Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics while Italy’s Cortina d’Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Games. The 2028 Summer Games will be held in Los Angeles while Brisbane, Australia will host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

NEOM is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s most ambitious project under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 development plan to reduce dependence on oil and transform the economy, including by developing sports.

NEOM, a 26,500 sq km (10,230 sq mi) high-tech development in the Red Sea, will include the zero-carbon city “The Line” as well as industrial and logistics zones.

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