May Peus España, the president of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI), expressed his disappointment over the failed Barcelona-Pyrenees candidacy for the 2030 Olympic Games. He attributed the failure to a lack of political consensus among the politicians of Aragon, Catalonia, and Madrid. He also lamented the absence of promising skiers in Spain who could carry on the legacy of Blanca Fernández-Ochoa or María José Rienda.
In an interview conducted at Pla de Beret, a viewpoint overlooking a vast expanse of the Baqueira ski resort, Peus, dressed in a blue Movistar jumpsuit, reflected on the missed opportunity. He was saddened by the failure of the politicians to agree on the candidacy, which he believed was not due to a lack of political will, but rather a lack of coordination.
Peus also emphasized his belief that the Pyrenees was fully equipped and ready to host the Games. He mentioned that they even had plans to collaborate with France to host certain events. However, due to the failed agreement, Spain missed out on the opportunity to host the Games in a ‘virgin’ mountain range, which would have been a first for the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Despite the setback, Peus remains hopeful and excited for other potential events in the Catalan Pyrenees, like a Universiade. He believes that such events, although not as grand as the Olympics, could still bring significant benefits to the region.
THE “PARADISE” OF BAQUEIRA
Peus also spoke about the Baqueira Beret Pro, the inaugural test of the Freeride World Tour, which was suspended in the Baciver area. Despite the suspension, the resort still boasts over 100 kilometers of skiable terrain. This is a significant achievement compared to other resorts that had to close certain areas due to a lack of snow.
Peus also talked about the integration of freeride into the RFEDI and his hopes for athletes like Abel Moga and Núria Castán to get their licenses in June. He even expressed his desire for freeride to be included in the Olympics, as it would provide a refreshing change to the Games.
“CREATING AN ALBERT ORTEGA COSTS 10 YEARS”
Peus also spoke about the challenges of nurturing athletes and creating a strong sports structure. He cited the example of Albert Ortega, who achieved a historic twenty-seventh place in Schladming (Austria), highlighting that it took a decade of hard work and commitment to reach this level.
However, he expressed his concern over the lack of female skiers in Spain, despite having programs like ‘Mujer y Deporte’. He also mentioned the need for successors to Blanca Fernández-Ochoa, Ainhoa Ibarra, Ana Galindo, María José Rienda, and Carolina Ruiz. Despite the challenges, Peus remains optimistic and is looking forward to nurturing talent through other sports like freeride and sports for people with disabilities.
SNOW CAR AND THE “OPTIONS” IN THE 2026 GAMES
Peus also discussed the Strategic Plan that he and his Board of Directors designed until 2030. The plan includes a High Performance Center (CAR) specialized in snow and mountain sports in Salardú, in the Arán Valley. This plan aims to increase the number of athletes, provide more training, increase the budget, include Paralympic athletes, and improve sustainability and sports results.
Peus also mentioned the importance of going to the Games or World Cups with the intention of winning a medal. He expressed his confidence in the potential of Spain’s athletes and emphasized that they should aim to compete and achieve a ‘Top 20’ placement.
In closing, Peus mentioned several promising athletes who could carry on the legacy of Paco Fernández-Ochoa. He also mentioned female athletes who could potentially follow in the footsteps of Blanca Fernández-Ochoa. Lastly, he emphasized his goal of sourcing more resources so as to improve the conditions for athletes in Spain.