Swiss Olympic announced Tuesday that five groups are looking to win the national nomination to bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.
Meeting the May 31 deadline were “Swiss Made Olympic Games” (Western part of Switzerland), “OIympische Winterspiele 2026 Graubtinden und Partner” (Eastern part of Switzerland), “Zentralschweiz 2026” (Central Switzerland), “Switzerland 2026” and “2026 — Games for our future.”
The five proposals represent regional projects, consistent with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Agenda 2020 reforms that put an emphasis on efficient and sustainable Olympic bid projects that can span a more widespread footprint than considered reasonable in the past.
A referendum over a potential Davos and St. Moritz bid to host the 2022 Games was lost in 2013 keeping Switzerland out of the running – but the Graubtinden Canton is back in the hunt for 2026.
Jorg Schild, Swiss Olympic`s president said, “We are pleased and very satisfied to see that the process initiated by Swiss Olympic has attracted high quality interest from cities and regions throughout Switzerland. We will now work together to refine and strengthen the proposals in order to develop more than a simple bid, but rather a national project for the future of our country.”
“The International Olympic Committee has a brand new approach to bidding which is much more flexible, and we know that it is now possible to balance the operational budget for the Games without any financial participation of the public sector.
“The winter sport industry and the activities that rely on it strongly need to be revitalised in Switzerland. There is no better means than hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games to start this revitalisation process. In Swiss Olympic, we are ready to play our role and contribute to the improvement our future through sport.”
Switzerland’s last attempt to host the Winter Games was a bid by Berne for the 2010 edition that was later withdrawn after losing a municipal referendum. Switzerland last hosted the Winter Olympics in 1948 in St. Moritz.
Swiss Olympic will conduct four workshops with the five applicants prior to the end of October this year and bid books will be due December 15. Referendums will be held, where required, before July 2017 and that will be immediately followed by site visits to the proposed venues.
A Swiss Olympic task force will make a final decision by September 2017 on whether to file an official candidacy with the IOC, and what bid will be nominated.
Lausanne, Switzerland will be hosting the Youth Winter Olympic Games in 2020.
The IOC will pick the winning bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in late 2019. 2022 runner-up Almaty Kazakhstan may also bid for the 2026 edition along with rumoured applicants including Trento, Italy; Dresden, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden and Calgary, Canada.