Activists against Winter Olympics plan Pyrenees cycle protest against ‘massive construction projects’

Stop JJOO organizes LaPedaladaPirineu across nine northern Catalan counties

A Stop JJOO demonstration in the Catalan Pyrenees protesting against the Winter Olympic Games on May 15, 2022 (by Marina López)
A Stop JJOO demonstration in the Catalan Pyrenees protesting against the Winter Olympic Games on May 15, 2022 (by Marina López) / ACN

ACN | La Seu d'Urgell

July 8, 2022 05:42 PM

The Plataforma Stop JJOO group will cycle across the Catalan Pyrenees to demonstrate against the "massive construction projects" such as the Winter Olympic Games. Activists will ride through nine different mountain counties from July 9 to 16.

The protest will stop in the northern-western counties of Solsonès, Ripollès, Berguedà, Alta Ribagorça, Alt Urgell, Baixa Cerdanya, Pallars Jussà, Pallars Sobirà and Vall d’Aran.

The action, named LaPedaladaPirineu, emerges after uniting bicycle lovers, the mountain, and the Stop JJOO platform.

It is true that the bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics has been pulled off. Meanwhile, activists claim their intention to stop projects like this one "remains alive," therefore they will travel from valley to valley. 

Each time riders arrive at a new town, they will stop in some areas to denounce several catastrophes arising from the existing model. However, activists will also point out those new initiatives that transform the territory in a good way.

The tour will start on July 9 in Ripoll and will arrive in the northern town of Sort, where there will be a big end-of-the-route show. 

2030 Winter Olympics bid

The area of the Catalan Pyrenees was intended to be one of the main hosts of a potential 2030 Winter Olympic Games. 

Three out of four residents were in favor of holding the sports competition, according to a government-funded survey. This included those who live in Berguedà, Solsonès, and Ripollès counties, where competitions would not be held but which could be involved indirectly. 

However, after months of negotiations between the Catalan government, the Spanish executive, the Spanish Olympic Committee, and the Aragonese cabinet, the neighboring region of Catalonia, authorities ruled out a joint candidacy to bid on hosting the games.

The lack of consensus between the COE and Catalan and Aragonese authorities over the distribution of competitions had frustrated the project, officials said on June 20.

Despite the political disagreement, some residents were already against hosting the games in the first place. Therefore, they all united efforts in the Plataforma Stop JJOO, as they considered that the Olympics were "not sustainable." 

Due to the lack of consensus in the territory, the Catalan government organized a referendum to ask residents whether they should host the games or not. The vote was postponed when the agreement reached between Aragon and Catalonia was later broken.

While Stop JJOO celebrated the decision to not bid on hosting the games, local authorities considered it a "lost opportunity."