2018 Olympics: Nice, France

Winter Olympics in Nice, France

How you can have Winter Olympics on the Cote d'Azur

Olympics 2018 Snow Ski
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WOW! Vancouver 2010: No Snow: but we had it in Nice!

Nice Snow 2009 Nice Snow 2009
December 2009:And they didn't award 2018 to Nice because we don't get snow!
FRANCE HAS DECIDED to make an official bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Nice is one of three cities that have official launched bids to the French Olympic Committee. Yes, the same Nice that is located on the French Riviera wants to host the Winter Games. I'm not sure how that will work, although Christian Estrosi, the Mayor of Nice, made the case in a press conference (October 2008).

To the casual observer, "that does not make sense, Nice is a summer place." But think about it: Nice is minutes away from three World Class ski stations: Isola 2000, Valberg and Auron. From the city of Nice, you only need to look North to see these and other mountain peaks. It is often assumed that the Alpes-Maritimes mountains are too close to the Côte d'Azur with its mild winters to offer any serious skiing options however the high altitudes and favourable weather conditions can make skiing possible right through until April. There are 465 peaks over 2,000 meters in the region with, towards the Italian border, six peaks standing over 3,000 metres.

Estrosi stated: "It is a lot easier to build a luge course than for any of the other candidates to build an international airport." Actually, for what the Nice Cote d'Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (airport owner) has spent on improvements just this decade, throw in a ski jump, bobsled run and hockey/skating stadium too. Guess what, Nice has plenty of space for these and an Olympic Village too. (Note: Nice Cote d'Azur Airport is the second-largest in France after Paris).

Nice used to be a Winter resort 100 years ago, but now Winter tourists prefer tropical islands. The infrastructure that supports huge Summer crowds exists year round. Even simple things like garbage collection are already in place. Hotel rooms from Nice, Menton, Monaco, Antibes, Cannes and Grasse can accomodate almost unlimited crowds of spectators. Public transportation ranks among the best systems in the World. Nice would not be one of those cities where they have to close school so the schoool busses can carry Olympic visitors - the transportation system is contracted to Violia, one of the largest transportation providers in the World.

Christian Estrosi is the right person to make this happen. Not only is he the mayor of Nice, but he heads the Conseil General (county government in U.S.) of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Communauté d'Agglomération Nice Côte d'Azur (20+ towns referred to as AGGLO NICE). He is a member of the UMP, the ruling party of France; but he has a great experience and lots of support at the local level. Estrosi's experience goes back to the era of long-time Nice mayor Jacques Medicin. He has built up a team over the years, including, as example, Rudy Salles. Finally, this guy has the charisma associated with a Kennedy or a Roosevelt.

So what is my interest? I worked on the train that ran from Utica to Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics. Never got to see an event, but did meet people like skater Tai Babalonia. Yes, a Winter Olympics hosted in a tiny, snow-filled village like Lake Placid sounds great. In 1932, athletes just stayed as guests in resident's houses. By 1980, the obligatory Olympic Village turned in to a correctional facility after the events closed. By 1980, the tiny town was overwhelmed.

Estrosi stated that the principality of Monaco is eager to be part of a Nice games. This was the idea I had for joint Olympics with Lake Placid and Montreal. Committee never wanted to hear about a multi-country proposal. Bet if Estroisi and Prince Albert II got together, somebody would listen.

The Alpes-Maritimes has a long association with the sport of skiing and the first ski club, "Ski Club des Alpes Maritimes" was founded in 1909 by Victor de Cessole, from Nice, who spent much of his life conquering these tough mountains. He had the first mechanical lift was installed in Valberg (actually in nearby Beuil) in 1936 and nearby Auron followed a year later. Think Whiteface Mountain at Lake Placid was just after Valberg and understand they used a Ford Model A engine to run it. His book collection is housed in Nice Musée du Chevalier Victor-Cessole Musée Massena).

Sometimes it snows in Nice (see picture below) !!

By Ken Kinlock at kenkinlock@gmail.com
Nice 2018 l'union alpes mediterranee
Antibes Snow Antibes Snow

November 2008, Antibes and the nearby A8 Autoroute had a snow storm. Those mountains are really close to the sea here!!!

Christian Estrosi - Député Maire de Nice 2018 Olympics: Nice, France
Olympics 2018 Snow Ski
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Olympics 2018 Snow Ski
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Walter Snow Fighter The roads to the ski stations are close (in respect to distance) to Nice, but they are a lot different. December 2008 saw avalanches. Before anybody starts running Olympics there, someone has to get serious about snow fighting. You can't use a little "city plow" like the one at the bottom. You need a modern version of the one at the left. It is a 1949 Walter Snow Fighter from snow country ( New Hartford, New York). Truck has a "V" plow in front and "wing" on one side. Four Wheel Drive? But, of course. Look at the chains!
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February 6, 2009
M. Estroisi
Rode around "06" today. Great to see the "2018" logos all over the place. However, TV/Radio report the ski stations will be closed tomorrow because of heavy snow. No, this cannot happen. It is hard enough convincing everyone that Nice has ski areas in it's back yard. You need to look at real snowfighting equipment...Not just dump trucks with a plow on front.
Before you face the World for 2018, you need to deal with three other French candidates. One of them has actually hosted Olympics. Great statement about them: "Anyone can build a luge course , but an International Airport is an accomplishment." Another is tiny as an ant, but they know the whole Lake Placid 1932 and 1980 thing. Beware.
1932 Olympics 1980 Olympics
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At the left, the World saw the alpine region of the Alpes-Maritimes in the 2007 Tour de France . At the right, Nice Cote de Azur airport is one of the busiest in the World

A great airport in the Alpes-Maritimes
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