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Berne enters race to host 2010 Winter Olympics

Berne has joined the lakeside resort of Montreux and canton Graubünden in bidding to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.

This content was published on July 12, 2000 - 13:15

The proposal amounts to a bid on behalf of Switzerland, with the organisers planning to stage events across the country.

The bid is being put forward under the slogan: "Open Mind", and the committee, "Bern 2010", has earmarked 12 venues in eight cantons to host the games.

It is proposing that all skiing events be held in the Bernese Oberland, with the city of Berne hosting ice-hockey and curling. St Moritz in canton Graubünden has been earmarked for the luge and bobsleigh events.

The opening and closing ceremonies would also be held in Berne, and the bid committee has chosen Basel, Engelberg, Fribourg, Lausanne, Lucerne and Veysonnaz to host other events.

Athletes would be housed in an Olympic village in Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland.

To garner support among the Swiss, the organisers have introduced an environmental dimension. They have pledged to protect the sites where the events would be held, and to ensure that there are no "Olympic ruins" left in the aftermath of the games.

The organisers say their intention to bid for the games has been positively received by both politicians and business people, and that the Bernese authorities have pledged to back them.

Berne is likely to face stiff competition from Montreux and Graubünden, which have already launched their bids launch the 2010 games.

The bids come in the wake of bitter disappointment at Sion's failed attempt to attract the 2006 Winter Games. Last year Sion was pipped by the Italian city of Turin.

The National Olympic Committee will decide next January which of the individual bids to submit to the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee.

swissinfo with agencies

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