By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

May 5 - Former handball player Oscar Grau has been chosen to head the proposed bid by Barcelona-Pyrenees to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, it has been announced.

Mayor Jordi Hereu appointed the former FC Barcelona star, considered one of the greatest players in the club's history and who played for Spain 45 times, to oversee the technical aspects of the bid which would see some events held in the city and in the ski station in Pyrenees mountains to the north.

Should the bid succeed, Barcelona, which staged the 1992 Olympics, will become the first city to host the summer and winter Games, if Munich's attempt to host the 2018 Winter Olympics fails.

The Spanish Olympic Committee will have to decide between Barcelona and Zaragoza as the base for a bid linked with the Pyrenean ski resorts, after Zaragoza declared their interest in hosting the event last year.

Grau, who retired from playing in 1995 because of injury and whose number two was later retired by FC Barcelona in honour of what he achieved, has since worked as the manager of the Catalan Handball Federation and Catalan Sailing Federation.

Most recently, the 46-year-old Grau has worked as a director of Agrupació Mútua Wellness, heading a group companies involved in construction and the management of sports facilities.

He will be responsible for leading a small team of experts to investigate more thoroughly what Barcelona needs to do to put together a successful bid.

Hereu said: "He [Grau] was great handball player.

"Since the he has acquired management skills and great professionalism."

A monitoring group, led by Barcelona's City Council, and other local political groups will monitor the early stages of the bid.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
January 2010:
Barcelona launch plans to bid for 2022 Winter Olympics