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Norway sceptical about new Olympic bid

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Norway sceptical about new Olympic bid
The 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway. File photo: Pål Hansen/NTB scanpix
10:45 CEST+02:00
Norwegian politicians have distanced themselves from a potential new Winter Olympic bid after 1994 host Lillehammer raised the issue this week.

Lillehammer’s municipality has paid an external consultant 300,000 kroner ($35,000) for a 100-page report on the possibilities of the Winter Olympics returning to the city in either 2026 or 2030, reports news agency NTB.

“I can guarantee that this will not be a major issue in the [September general] election campaign,” Conservative (Høyre) Party representative Svein Harberg told newspaper VG.

Harberg’s party voted no to a previous proposal for Oslo to submit a bid for the 2022 summer games.

“I think the coordinating factor in this must be Norway’s sports association. They have to ascertain when they will be ready and how it could be done. Parliament cannot take the initiative for a Norwegian Olympic bid,” Harberg said.

Anette Trettebergstuen of the opposition Labour Party agreed that it was too early for talk of a new attempt to become an Olympic host.

READ ALSO: Could Norway co-host the summer Olympics?

“It is necessary to create public enthusiasm for the project, and politicians have to say ‘yes, we want to do this’ before the process gets underway,” she told VG.

Minister for culture Lina Hofstad Helleland echoed the sentiments of her parliamentary colleagues, reports the newspaper.

Helleland told VG by email that it was “crucial for any potential bid that the sporting community has all of Norway on its side. The previous process is relatively recent, so I think there is some way to go.”

The Centre Party (Senterpartiet) said that the spiralling costs of being an Olympic host city were a major factor in whether it could support the idea.

“If it develops into a gigantic economic project as it has done over recent decades, then there will be no country in the world that wants the games,” Marit Arnstad from the Centre party told VG.

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