|Eli Grimsby - CEO, Oslo 2022|
|Profile of the week|
Monday, 11 August 2014 14:22
Eli Grimsby is the CEO of the organising committee for Oslo’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Oslo is competing against Beijing in China and Almaty, Kazakhstan for the right to host the prestigious spectacle. They were announced as an official candidate last month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The next official stage of the 2022 contest will now come on January 7, when the Candidature Files from the three successful cities will be due, before visits are paid by a yet-to-be-appointed IOC Evaluation Commission.
By Ismail Uddin
You are CEO of the Oslo 2022 bid committee. How difficult has it been to run the bid?
Firstly I am grateful that I was the one they asked to lead this work. It is hard work off course. We are facing almost new challenges every day but most of all it is a fantastic job working together with my team and colleagues in the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Also a lot of our stakeholders are hoping to achieve our goal which is to bring the Olympics and Paralympics back to Norway. So I have to say yes there are number of challenges but it is a fantastic job.
You were officially announced as a Candidate City last month. All through the applicant process did you expect to get this stage and how pleased are you now you are candidate city?
First of all, I got a bit surprised how happy and relieved I was when I heard Mr. Bach (Thomas Bach, IOC President) announce that Oslo was one of the candidate cities. Not that I was surprised by the announcement just the feeling that two years of hard work was fulfilled. I wouldn't say that I expected it but we have been working towards it. I was quite confident that we did have a strong and sustainable concept but it's sort of you never know. It feels good to be a candidate city.
What have been the major obstacles?
As you know we have been working for two years before the meeting in Lausanne and I think first of all we have been focusing on getting our concept with the right balance between bringing in new arenas and by that giving a new legacy for the sports in Norway after 2022. But there is a balance between building new and reusing the already existing venues and that was mainly what we worked with the first year and that's important to find a concept where both the city and national federations were satisfied with.
We are working really hard on that and I think that has been one of the things we have been working along with. Even though we are a country that loves winter sports more than anything, after Sochi, we started with minor resources on different parts so it's important for us to gain the support from the people in Norway so that's what we have been working towards and what we have seen during Spring. We need to work harder in getting higher public support. I also think another challenge that I think I must express is the process in the government is different from our competitors and I have got the impression internationally some journalists and members of the IOC believe that the government does not provide their support so what we need to focus on is to get the information out internationally that this is a normal process and that's how our parliament works.
You have launched a new logo. What inspired the logo?
We launched our first logo during last Autumn and we have now launched a new logo based on us being named a candidate city but its building on the same logo as we did have as an applicant city. We have changed the colours a bit and now we can use the (Olympic) rings together with our logo. I think we build our logo on our values. We have three pairs of values which are Urban and Natural, Ambition and Generous and Playful and Responsible. The concept of the logo became Nordic Simplicity so we wanted to be both playful and responsible but while showing the simplicity that you often see on Nordic design.