May Peus: “The 2030 Games were for Spain, it was a very big missed opportunity”

“I want to think that there was political will, but not all of it,” he noted about the frustrated Barcelona-Pirineos candidacy.

“Why are there no skiers? I can't find an excuse, I wish we had a María José Rienda,” he wished.


The president of the Royal Spanish Winter Sports Federation (RFEDI), May Peus España, regretted the “lost opportunity” due to lack of understanding among politicians of the Barcelona-Pyrenees candidacy for the 2030 Olympic Games, and finds no justification that there are no skiers who take the baton from Blanca Fernández-Ochoa or María José Rienda.

“It was an incredible shame, a very big lost opportunity. I did not dream of giving us the Games but only of presenting a candidacy, with a political understanding between Aragon, Catalonia and Madrid, but in the end neither Lambán nor Aragonés were able to come to an agreement. agreement. There was no political understanding,” he said in an interview with Europa Press in Pla de Beret, a 'terrace' from which a large part of the Baqueira station is dominated.

Clad in a blue 'Movistar' jumpsuit, one of the main sponsors – along with Iberdrola and Audi – of the RFEDI and its 'Spain Snow' brand, May Peus, from Aragon, raised in the foothills of Baqueira, who will complete a decade in office, he shakes his head when reminded of how the valley would have been transformed by those failed Games.

“I can't believe that there was discussion about things that were not transcendental. If the discussion was whether the tests were done in one place or another, that would have been determined by the IOC, but we were not able to reach an internal agreement. Sadly it seems that It was good for everyone to say that the 'bad guy' was the other one,” he recalled.

Peus finds it hard to believe that Aragon and Catalonia were not capable of sitting at a table and reaching that agreement. “Political will? I want to think that there was, but not all of it. More than will, there was no coordination. The 2030 Games were for Spain, for sure, I have no doubt. We had a good ally, Juan Antonio Samaranch junior, who encouraged us to present the candidacy because it was the opportunity for the IOC to hold the Games in a 'virgin' mountain range, in which it had never been held,” he argued.

In his opinion, the Pyrenees was “fully” prepared to organize these Games, and France had been approached to host events such as trampoline jumping. “We lost an incredible opportunity,” he said, alluding to the fact that the following editions will be held, in the absence of official confirmation, in France (2030), the United States (Salt Lake City, 2034) and Switzerland (2038).

Far from resigning, the president of the RFEDI advocated getting excited about “other types of events” for the Catalan Pyrenees such as a Universiade. “Two have been organized in Jaca and one in Sierra Nevada; Junior World Cups, FOJE and other competitions that may not be as attractive as the Games, but are attractive for the territory,” he stressed.


Despite the suspension of the Baqueira Beret Pro, the inaugural test of the Freeride World Tour, in the Baciver area, the Lleida resort continues to show its muscle, with more than 100 kilometers of skiable area, compared to other resorts in which the lack of Snow has forced the closure of slopes and lifts.

“A paradise? It's ugly for me to say it, since I was born and live here. And yes, I don't know if paradise is much better than this, but if so, I agree. Baqueira means a lot to winter sports in Spain. It is one of the few that has a stadium closed all year round, fenced, with an exclusive ski lift, the Fernández-Ochoa, for the competition area,” he told Europa Press in the interview, a handful of meters from the park. in which the best brands exhibit their latest boards.

Peus recalled that freeride is already integrated into the RFEDI and is confident that athletes like Abel Moga and Núria Castán will be able to have their license in June, after its approval by the FIS at its congress in Reykjavík in May.

“If I were part of the IOC I would not hesitate to introduce it quickly because it needs emerging sports as happened years ago with snowboarding and freestyle. I think that now the next step is 'freeride' as it has incorporated 'skate' in the Summer Games” , he commented.


With the historic twenty-seventh place of Albert Ortega in Schladming (Austria), the best result of a Spaniard in a giant since 1973, Peus explained that “creating” a structure and an athlete cost a lot.

“We have been at the head of the federation for 10 years and Albert had just joined. This shows that, by doing the job well, it takes 10 years to get to the top. If now he has some good points in the European Cup and is lowering his numbers, in the In the next two years, he will be an athlete who will consolidate himself among the 30 best in the world, for sure,” he predicted.

On the other hand, despite programs like 'Mujer y Deporte', led by Paula Fernández-Ochoa, no women come out of the national pool. “Why are there no skiers? It's difficult to answer. I can't even find an excuse. It's hard for us and we are a sport in which the number of children's licenses is very equitable, 55 versus 45,” she argued…

On the other hand, there is no replacement for Blanca Fernández-Ochoa, Ainhoa ​​Ibarra, Ana Galindo, María José Rienda or Carolina Ruiz. “Now we lack that. I wish we had a María José Rienda in our structures. We are working on freeride with Nuria Castán, in sports with disabilities Irati Idiákez is obtaining magnificent results. We have a group with Arrieta Rodríguez and June Garitano, a young , hopeful, with Lisa Vallcorba…”, he said.


In the Strategic Plan that he designed together with his Board of Directors until 2030, Peus included a High Performance Center (CAR) specialized in snow and mountain sports, which could be built in Salardú, in the Arán Valley itself, where, according to him , we can no longer speak of 'emptied Spain' thanks to the tourism that the Baqueira ski resort attracts.

This plan envisaged increasing from 9 to 44 athletes, 40% more federated members, training, 50% more budget, the inclusion of Paralympic athletes and improving aspects such as sustainability, and sports results, with concentrations in the 'Casa of Spain' in Saas Fee (Switzerland).

“In the end you are going to measure us by the medals. I don't know if we have had any luck, but being at the limit, because it was not easy to get medals in either of the two Games, they were achieved,” he noted in reference to the bronze and silver, respectively, of the 'riders' Regino Hernández and Queralt Castellet in PyeongChang'18 and Beijing'22.

For Peus, what can be demanded is to reach the Games or World Cups “with the option of a medal.” “At the Milano-Cortina Games we have to arrive again with clear medal options, for sure. We quickly crossed out from the mouth of the previous federation that we are going to gain experience at some Games or World Cups. No, at some Games or at “At some World Cups you are going to compete and be in a 'Top 20',” he said.

With names like the veterans Lucas Eguíbar, Álvaro Romero, Javi Lliso, Thibault Magnin, Quim Salarich, Juan del Campo and Albert Ortega and young people like Aleix Auber, Tomás Barata, Ander Mintegui and Jonás Sánchez Cabañas, the president of the RFEDI sees ” closer” to Paco's legacy than to Blanca Fernández-Ochoa.

However, he trusts Lisa Vallcorba, June Garitano and Arrieta Rodríguez, who “are already coming forward” in the European Cup to pick up Blanca's baton, while his objective is to look for more resources that will make him forget about past times. “When I arrived, the athletes were not paid. All that has ended. Here they are paid and paid daily,” she said.