Sports and Games
(Tom Hundley/Chicago Tribune, 26 August 2007)** -- TROMSØ, Norway - Located more than 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this surprisingly sunny and cheerful little city likes to boast that it has the northernmost university in the world. Also the northernmost brewery and the northernmost Burger King. In 1989, Tromsø¸ was able to claim the northernmost papal visit when Pope John Paul II flew in for a quick mass. And earlier this summer, a golfer on the local links carded the northernmost hole in one. Boosters of Tromsø are now taking aim at a new target: They want to host the northernmost Olympic Games in 2018, fully aware that staging the Games in the Arctic would undoubtedly pose some unique logistical problems. "The Arctic is an undiscovered area for most people. We are hoping the selection committee will choose us because we think we represent something quite different from the usual winter resort," said Erlend Rian, an adviser to Tromsø's Olympic bid committee and the city's former mayor. During the summer months, Tromsø draws a few tourists who come to enjoy the white nights and midnight sun. But during the winter months the opposite conditions prevail. The sun sets on Nov. 21 and doesn't rise again until Jan. 21. How would the International Olympic Committee feel about holding the Games in darkness? The IOC, which will select the location of the 2018 Winter Games in 2011, had no comment on Tromsø's potential bid. "The process for 2018 has not even started yet," said Sandrine Chabert, an IOC spokeswoman contacted in Lausanne, Switzerland. But Tromsø's bid promoters are confident that solutions can be found to the daylight issue or any other concerns.
Posted 26 August 2007; 6:56:24 PM. Permalink