Swiss Olympic President Jörg Schild said Friday that 2026 is the right time for for his country to bid for the Olympic Winter Games, as his selection team was wrapping up the consultation phase of the national process for selecting a Swiss candidate for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“We believe that we must be a candidate now, because the time is right for 2026 for many reasons,” Schild said after the representatives from four remaining proposals – “2026 – Games for our future” (multi-regions), “Olympische Winterspiele 2026 Graubünden und Partner” (Eastern Switzerland), “Switzerland 2026” (multi-regions) and “2026. The Swiss Made Winter Games” (Western Switzerland) – spent a few days in Berne reviewing their projects with technical experts in preparation for the December 15 submission deadline for technical files.
“I am very happy with the quality of the talks we had with the candidate projects,” Schild added.
“We know that Switzerland can be a candidate, thanks to the changes brought by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with its Agenda 2020. We also think that we must be candidate because, if they are organised in a smart way, the Games could have a very positive impact on our country.”
The St. Moritz 1948 Games were the last Winter Games to be held in Switzerland.
A DemoSCOPE survey released in July revealed that 57 per cent in Switzerland would support a bid to host the Olympic Games. That’s an improvement over a 2013 referendum that saw the Davos – St. Moritz 2022 Winter Games bid defeated when only 47 per cent were behind the project. A Berne bid for the 2010 Games was forced to withdraw after less than 25 per cent voted to support it in a mid-campaign referendum in 2002.
Swiss Olympic also announced that the timeline for the domestic selection process will be compressed to accommodate a Federal discussion that will need to be held in order to approve the bid ahead of the IOC application deadline in late 2017. That signals that the Swiss are likely to move forward with a bid.
If a Swiss candidate is chosen to proceed it will likely face tough international rivals including bids being considered from Calgary in Canada and the 2022 Games runner-up Almaty, Kazakhstan. Entries from Germany and Italy are also being considered as well as additional candidates that may be interested after the IOC opens an invitation stage early next year.
The next Winter Games will be staged in PyeongChang, South Korea in 2018 and Beijing, China in 2022. The IOC will elect a 2026 host city in 2019.