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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Oslo tentatively OKs pursuing ‘OL’

Both Norwegian athletic organizations and the Oslo City Council have approved moving forward with plans to apply for the Winter Olympics in Oslo in 2022. Many think they’re simply playing with Olympic fire.

If so, it’s an expensive game. The preliminary planning process alone is expected to cost millions of taxpayers’ kroner (around NOK 120 million over the next year) and no one has any idea how much an Olympics itself would cost. It would demand construction of several new stadiums,  housing complexes and new transport systems, and some are even talking about the need for a tunnel through the hills leading up to the ski jump and Nordic skiing trails at Holmenkollen, to provide necessary alternative access to the area.

That set off immediate protests from local residents and environmentalists. Meanwhile, the head of Oslo’s city government admits that there are “many factors of uncertainty.” City administrator Stian Birger Røsland of the Conservative Party told news bureau NTB, however, that “the possibilities this could give Oslo … are so great that it’s correct to go further.”

Less than half of those questioned in a recent survey support hosting what the Norwegians call an “OL.” The city government is expected to decide on whether to actually make a formal application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on May 23.

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