The Olympic History of the Olympiaregion Seefeld

12. October 2017

Tyrol is one of the number one land of sports of the Alps. Already in 1964 and 1976 Innsbruck proved that Olympic games can be organized here. 50 years later the chance exists again: Innsbruck/ Tyrol could apply for the Olympic Games 2026. Whether the candidacy will take place at all will be decided at a a referendum on October 15.

“Why you call yourselve „Olympiaregion“ even before you get Olympia?”, our managing director Elias Walser was asked recently. But the Olympiaregion Seefeld has a long Olympic history.

For the wintergames 1964 and 1976, Seefeld established itself at that time as a nordic center, where disciplines like cross country skiing and ski jumping were carried out for the Olympic Games. For the third time the Olympic Fire came to our region in 2012, as we were part of the YOG – the Youth Olympic Winter Games.

The “Olympia” in our name is therefore not taken with the hair.

A companion of the first hour

One who had experienced the two Olympics at first hand is Walter Frenes, the long-standing director of the tourist association Seefeld. He was responsible for carrying out the Olympics 1964 and 1976 and also the Nordic Skiing World Championship in 1985.

“The Olympic Winter Games and the World Cup have brought an enormous revaluation of the infrastructure. This has always been my primary motivation to support the applications. The advertising value is a nice side effect. Many investments would not have been possible for Seefeld without such major events.”, Mister Frenes recalls the first big event. With a sparkle in his eyes he thinks back to these times. 50,000 spectators lined the ski jumping trades in 1964 from the today’s Casino Arena to the Sportalm. “Especially the cross-country skiing courses were the impetus that, according to the Scandinavian example, we used to make cross-country skiing, as popular as skiing in our region.”, Frenes picks up and thus marks the birthdays of cross-country skiing “for everyone” in the Olympiaregion Seefeld.

But not only in terms of sport, the Olympics in 1964 brought an upturn for Seefeld. Infrastructurally there were innovations for the small winter resort: the station was built as well as the large north-south location bypass at the eastern edge of Seefeld.

10 reasons for a “Yes”

As many people are living in Tyrol, there are as many opinions. Especially when it comes to major events like Olympic Games. New Olympic Games are there to put sports and people back in the spotlight. This offer connects people all over the country and there is the possibility to show the world how to play the games 50 years after the last Olympic Games in Tyrol. To make sports with compact and sustainable games into a regionally adapted and economically attractive event in large format is the main goal of Olympic Games in Innsbruck/Tyrol in 2026.

Worldchampionships 2019 ideal for 2026?

At the time of the Olympic Games in 1976, Seefeld was awardedwith the World Cup in 1985. “The pedestrian zone was introduced as a place to stay and a mile of walking. Seefeld was the second car-free village center after Zermatt”, Frenes tells us. Within the framework of the World Cup, the course facilities were expanded and the World Cup hall was built as a press center and later a perfect place to play tennis. The village bypass south with the Gschwandtkopftunnel was erected and is still one of the oldest in Tyrol. In the middle of the village center was built the town hall and another highlight was the swimming pool in Seefeld, which presented the first sauna at the region, which was a public magnet.

We are currently experiencing a similar situation:
Since August 2016, the region has been working tirelessly to prepare for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2019. Among other things, the station will be renovated, the World Cup hall will be rebuilt and brought up to the latest technical standards, as well as environmentally friendly improvements in traffic management and sustainable attractiveness of public passenger transport will be included in the blueprint until 2019.

The Olympiaregion Seefeld could of course benefit from perfectly developed and newly erected sports facilities within the framework of Olympia 2026.

Apart from professional sportsmen like Benni Raich and Niki Hosp or promoter Rosi Schipflinger, musicians Marc Pircher or DJ Ötzi are just an exmaple for people in the country who say yes to winter games 2026 in Innsbruck/Tyrol. Walter Frenes is also clear about the Olympics: “All essential facilities for the event are available. No expensive infrastructure has to be built. We can concentrate fully on making the Olympic region known as a mecca of cross-country skiing in the Alps. ”

So – let’s bring the Olympic Games home.

Source: Walter Frenes in an interview with the Plaetauzeitung and chief editor Bernhard Rangger https://issuu.com/rabefilm/docs

Pictures: Olympiaregion Seefeld