Winter Olympics in the Netherlands
Written on: Tue, 23 Mar 2010; 14:57
Olympics Time flies when you're having fun, quite rightly proven by my long absence on this website. Many new impressions were loaded on top of me, and I've finally managed to process most of them. So as of today: I'm back to writing weblogs. In light of the recent Winter Olympics I will discuss the possibility of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in the Netherlands. Not because I want to advocate them, nor because I fanatically oppose the idea, but simply because I think it is interesting to see what our options are.

The idea of doing this comes from Ron Mulder, ceo of sports marketing company 'Referee'. According to him it is the best bet for the Netherlands, as he considers the chance to host the Summer Olympics in 2028 (as is hoped for currently) to be minimal. Summer Olympics can be hosted practically anywhere, as they do not require a specific climate or environment. The Winter Olympics however are more of a challenge. The very first thing that comes to my mind: mountains?

Flat NetherlandsVaalserbergThe international reputation of the Netherlands as a flat country is not a fallacy. It is entirely true. The lowest point is 6.76m under NAP (Normaal Amsterdams Peil or Amsterdam Ordnance Datum) and the highest point is the Vaalserberg, of which the top is at 322.7m above NAP. These points lie very far apart, and most of the country is flat. Now, we could say that the Vaalserberg is a mountain. Even if you would be able to cover it entirely in snow you could still not use it for skiing and snowboarding!

Mountain in the VeluweSo what is the solution that Ron Mulder offers us? Well, we simply build our own mountain! We take some large dredgers and they can easily make a mountain of 1.000m high in the Veluwe. How would that look? Well, I would think something like the picture on the right. I do believe we should ask ourselves whether we want that.

Building FlevolandWe can however not disagree that it would be possible. The country certainly has the technology, looking at what it has achieved with the Delta Works, and most importantly all the polders. Flevoland, one of the twelve provinces, is entirely human-made. The area was formerly part of the IJsselmeer (and before that the Zuiderzee). If we can build an entire island out of mud, then why not a mountain?

Around the world people shape the land according to their needs. In Singapore there is Pulau Semaka, an island made from ash from the incineration plants, so practically garbage! Maybe a mountain made from garbage would help the Netherlands getting rid of garbage? It could be the "green" Olympics! In Japan there is an airport close to Osaka - Kansai International Airport - for the construction of which three entire mountains were excavated and an artificial island was created for it be built upon. Apparently mankind is able to move mountains for its own pleasure.

Ice-skatingAnother thing about hosting the Winter Olympic Games in the Netherlands that comes to the minds of many is most probably snow. This however I do not believe to be a problem. In Vancouver last month not all the snow was natural either, there certainly is technology available to cover our newly acquired mountain in the Veluwe with snow!

I am rather curious to hear all your opinions on the topic, so feel free to post any comments below! Who knows what will happen!


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