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Former fencer to head Olympic bid

Kauter looks ahead to his latest challenge Keystone

The organisers of the Berne-Montreux Winter Olympics bid have named politician and Olympic silver medallist Christian Kauter as their new president.

Kauter was a member of the Swiss fencing team between 1967 and 1981. He won a silver medal in the team épée competition at the 1972 Munich Olympics, followed by a bronze four years later in Montreal.

The 53-year-old Bernese Radical Party vice-president said on Friday that he had accepted the presidency of the Berne-Montreux bid gladly, after initial reticence.

Having originally thought that Switzerland needed time to consider the failure of Sion’s bid for the 2006 Games, Kauter said that the Berne-Montreux campaign had been “too good” to turn down.

He added that he would head the bid until January 17, the date when the Swiss Olympic Association votes on the two rival Swiss campaigns.

As well as the Berne-Montreux bid, a joint campaign by Zurich and Graubünden is being put before the Association.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR