Oslo’s bid leaders for the Norwegian city’s tilt at the 2022 winter Olympic Games have said they are confident in securing the financial support and public backing necessary to justify its status as a favourite to land the multi-sport event.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board will meet on July 8-9 to determine which cities make the short list for the final stage of the bidding campaign. However, Oslo’s Mayor Stian Berger Roesland has said parliament won't vote on the key financial guarantees for the bid until the summer or autumn.
Oslo’s Scandinavian counterpart Stockholm was last month forced to scrap its bid after the Swedish city’s ruling Moderate party refused to support the project due to cost considerations. Norwegian IOC member Gerhard Heiberg said he is confident that Oslo will not encounter such problems. “I don't think we are on the edge,” he said, according to the Associated Press news agency. “I think we have time. I think we will convince them. When you talk to the politicians individually, I think they are positive. It's a question of having a process in a democratic country. I am of the opinion this will turn in the right direction. We are not there yet, but I think we will get there in due time.”
Oslo previously hosted the 1952 winter Olympics and Lillehammer the 1994 Games. Under the 2022 bid the two would come together with Oslo staging indoor events and ski jumping, while Lillehammer would be the setting for Alpine competitions. The most recent poll indicated that the bid has only received 42 per cent support from the national population, but Roesland added: “We are going to move forward with our national campaign of getting support for a bid. I believe that we will have enthusiastic support.”
Oslo faces competition from Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Lviv (Ukraine), plus joint bids from Beijing and Zhangjiakou (China) and Krakow (Poland) and Low Tatras (Slovakia). The IOC will elect the host of the 2022 Games on July 31, 2015.