Salda 2002 Winter Geolympiad Proposal
|2002 Winter Geolympiad (Pancontinental Games)|
|←2000 Summer Geolympiad||2004 Summer Geolympiad→|
|Host city||Salda Mauretia|
|Opening Ceremony||Stadio Esportivo er-Salda|
|Closing Ceremony||Stadio Esportivo er-Salda|
|Geolympiad Stadium||See venue list|
Salda was a candidate city with its proposal to host the 2002 Winter Geolympiad in the northern Maureti city. Local leaders first proposed the idea in 1988, but it took until 1990 for the Maureti government to endorse the idea. Salda officially applied in 1993, and voting took place in 1995. Salda's proposal involved upgrading a lot of existing infrastructure. These sites included planned venues in the developing Veci-Esportiva neighborhood, local ski resorts, and facilities on the campuses of the University of Salda and the Kabyea Polytechnic University. Only a few additional facilities were needed.
The games were slated to run from Friday 01 February 2002 until Sunday 17 February 2002 with the opening and closing ceremonies held at the Stadio Esportivo er-Salda. After the games concluded, the majority of the facilities built for the games were repurposed for local and civic usages.
There were 78 events contested in 7 sports (15 disciplines).
- Alpine skiing (10)
- Biathlon (8)
- Bobsleigh (3)
- Cross-country skiing (12)
- Curling (2)
- Figure skating (4)
- Freestyle skiing (4)
- Ice hockey (2)
- Luge (3)
- Northerlands combined (3)
- Short track speed skating (8)
- Skeleton (2)
- Ski jumping (3)
- Snowboarding (4)
- Speed skating (10)
|Venue name||Events||Location, Map||Capacity||Public transportation||Notes|
|Arena MauraCom||Figure skating, short-track speed skating||19,300||Metra, busses||Built for games to eventually replace Arena Vuseya; called Arena Ešiha during games|
|Arena Vuseya||Hockey (primary)||15,500||Metra, busses||Built in 1984; called "Salda Ice Palace" during games|
|Le Esporte||Speed skating||5,350||Multiple busses||Repurposed as a community recreation center|
|Girgensa-Aute Abelagliesa||Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding||14,200/19,500||Temporary bus routes||Freestyle, giant slalom, slalom, and snowboarding held on; Alpine combined, downhill, and super-G held on|
|Parqe Natio Har Surlata||Biathlon, cross-country, part of northerlands combined||11,500||Temporary bus routes based on event schedule||Incorporated into other trails and national park|
|Parqe Panqontinentiale er-Salda||Bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, ski jumping||13,000/16,500||Metra, busses||Legacy training and community center|
|Pul Adeleto||Curling||7,900||Busses||Converted into fitness and event centers|
|Pul Fogalen||Hockey (secondary)||5,050||Busses||Renovated for the games|
|Venue name||Use||Location, Map||Notes|
|Abela Yosef Terviosu||Medal ceremonies, special events, concerts||Could seat 9,500–17,000 depending on event|
|La Placia Norda||Media center||Some international broadcasters shared facilities and personnel with nearby TeleMaura|
|Stadio Esportiva er-Salda||Opening and closing ceremonies||Also served as supplemental facility for international broadcasting|
|Veci Internatio||Athlete Village||Dining and laundry facilities converted into retail space and area turned over to public housing|
Local leaders in Salda began to discuss the idea for the Pancontinental Games in 1988, after Salda hosted a series of smaller, regional events. The city was, and remains, by far the largest in northern Mauretia and is a hub of Mauroi culture. As the lone northern city and the center of a metropolitan area nearing one million people, Salda already possessed many of the facilities it needed to host the games. The drive was prominently led by businessman Uri Zanal. He offered to personally finance part of the facility upgrades and construct a new arena for his two hockey teams if the Maureti government would agree to endorse the games. Finally, in 1990, the Qoncilio resolved to allow the culture and sport departments to pursue the games. The Salda council voted unanimously to bid the following day.
With the bid, existing construction on two new facilities accelerated. The Arena MauraCom had been planned to replace the Arena Vuseya anyway. The groundbreaking took place three weeks before the Qoncilio approved the bid. Now with new financing from Zanal, the project's timetable was sped up so that it would be finished by the time Salda officially applied for the bid.
Hosting the games in Salda had net-positive impact on the economy and culture of Kabyea province. The most noticeable investments were made in infrastructure. The Autodroma Principia was widened from two through lanes to three from the Nahadi interchange to the Gilgelia Oesta interchange. This capital improvement was considered long overdue by provincial leaders; the bridge over the Sarde lowlands had been the major obstacle that idled the project for more than a decade. Auxiliary lanes were added between exits 305 and 307 to facilitate merging, as well. The Salda Principia interchange (307) was reconstructed as the first single-point urban interchange in Mauretia. East of Gilgel, the N1 was upgraded to a four-lane parkway with interchanges at larger communities. It was completed to near autodroma standards but retains some at-grade intersections.
Other major capital improvements included the replacement of the Ponta Sarde with a modern span. The original bridge, constructed in 1937 as a drawbridge, only included two lanes of highway traffic and a single track for the Metra between the opposing lanes. Since it crossed a key harbor, it was under the jurisdiction of the national government and not the province. Kabyea had long lobbied Qolna Mauretana to replace the span, and the games afforded the perfect opportunity. To avoid a complete closure, the new span was built at a slightly skewed angle just north of the original. The new bridge and eastern approach was entirely constructed without interrupting traffic flow. Connecting the new bridge to the western approach, however, did require a brief closure. The embankments of the original span remain visible to the present. With a new bridge, the port also faced less congestion, as ships could travel more freely under the suspension bridge. Even more, the Metra tracks were doubled, allowing for continuous two-way traffic between Salda and Irida Viarni. The elevated Metra section in the eastern city was extended by a kilometer in the process. Because Irida Viarni is economically one of the poorest cities in the metropolitan region, the province wanted to make sure the public transportation investment was made irrespective of the games. The Metra underwent additional expansion with an extension southward from the previous terminus at the Terraura station to the airport. The primary line was placed along a decommissioned rail corridor from Terraura to Nahadi and along a new alignment from the lake southeastward to the airport. Stations in the city center underwent some minor renovation and new trains were purchased. Statistics show that ridership jumped dramatically following the games.
The final piece to Salda's infrastructure improvement was the expansion of the airport and ferry terminals. The airport had typically hosted only a few flights to some neighboring countries, such as Raiden and Mergany. The number of gates total was increased from 15 to 37. The Maureti government granted rights to two international companies to fly directly to Salda, facilitating the international gates (labeled with G, L and P). Peyan, the Maureti flag carrier, started direct flights from Salda to a seven locations in eastern Uletha. Other than nonstop flights to Mynninghamn, the services remain to the present. Sea connections to Mergany were also improved with the reconstruction of the ferry terminal. A customs facility was built and the piers were rebuilt to modern standards.
On a less tangible level, the public perception of Salda, and therefore most of Kabyea province, among Mauroi increased dramatically. The combination of terrain and types of industry in Kabyea prompted the impression among the southern provinces that it was backwater and impoverished. Salda, similarly, was viewed as a city that had outlived its glory days of the Florenciam. The bid prompted a tremendous amount of investment in the city from its more southern counterparts. As the cultural works of the city began to be rediscovered and its image rehabilitated, tourism throughout Kabyea increased. After the games concluded, the city found partners in historical societies, the nearby universities, and the Archdiocese of Salda to restore the cultural landmarks of the city. Nearly all of restoration work was financed with private money. The monarchy contributed 10% to the cultural improvements. With all of this work completed, Salda was chosen as the Ulethan Capital of Culture for 2011.
The growth in tourism has meant that Salda continues to host a booming nightlife. The Muroesta (Westwall) neighborhood, in part because of its proximity to the Universitat Salda and the ferry terminal, has ranked as one of the country's favorite areas since the games. The sporting areas also remain popular among locals. The numerous sporting facilities as made Salda a favorite of the Maureti leagues to host their championships. The new winter sports facilities has made Salda the official training center for Mauretia and some other EUOIA countries in the sports of luge, bobsled, ski jumping, and other alpine events.