Winter Olympic Referendums: Reasons for Opposition to the Games

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Projects to host the Olympic Winter Games have been subject to local referendums on at least 31 occasions, many more than for the summer Olympics. More than half of these referendums (18) have produced negative results, a phenomenon that has become more frequent since the turn of the twenty-first century. As a result, far fewer bids proceed to the final vote by members of the International Olympic Committee, which in turn has responded by changing its attribution procedure as of the 2030 winter games. A short history of winter Olympic referendums and an analysis of referendums during the most recent host-city attribution processes, for the 2022 and 2026 winter Olympics, demonstrate why so many referendums have gone against the winter Olympics. Examining the issues and arguments that led to negative votes reveals possible lessons for future bids.




Chappelet, J. L. (2021). Winter Olympic Referendums: Reasons for Opposition to the Games. International Journal of the History of Sport, 38(13–14), 1369–1384.

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