With the Winter Olympics now over, the attention in Switzerland has turned to the bid to bring the 2026 games to the Swiss town of Sion. Is this really such a good idea?
Switzerland's Olympic team ended up with 15 medals in Pyeongchang, South Korea – five gold, six silver, and four bronze medals - four more than what they were aiming for, and the same number as 30 years ago in Calgary.
Has this sporting success reinforced Olympic spirit in the small alpine nation, which is also home to the International Olympic Committee (IOC)? swissinfo.ch asks locals in Arth-Goldau, an alpine town in central Switzerland, whether they think it’s a good idea for Switzerland to host the Olympic Games, and what they would mean for the country.
The Swiss Olympic Committee and the Swiss government are backing a joint proposal by Sion, the capital of canton Valais, to host the 2026 Winter Games spread across much of western Switzerland and based largely on existing infrastructure. Last October, the Swiss government wholeheartedly endorsed the bid, promising to contribute almost CHF1 billion ($1.018 billion), if it is chosen.
A final vote on the host city by the IOC will take place in summer 2019. However, in Switzerland parliament still needs to ratify the funding, and voters in canton Valais will also have a decisive say on Sion 2026 funding in a local referendum this June 10.
Translated from German by Simon Bradley