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Graubünden urged to pursue Olympic bid

Canton Graubünden is being urged to continue a project to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. A working group headed by the parliamentarian, Christoffel Brändli (picture), made the recommendation in the cantonal capital, Chur.

Canton Graubünden is being urged to continue a project to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. A working group made the recommendation in the cantonal capital, Chur.

The recommendation follows a feasibility study involving the whole canton, with decentralisation of the various sporting disciplines.

Independent experts gave their basic approval after studying infrastructure, finance, transport and environment questions, sustainability and the economic long-term effects on tourism.

The working group “Olympic Winter Games Graubünden 2010” is unanimous that the canton would have a good chance of being chosen as host by the International Olympic Committee, despite three unsuccessful attempts by the resort of Sion, in canton Valais.

“The fundamentals show that Graubünden, as the largest tourism region in Switzerland, has good prerequisites for organising the Games,” said the working group’s president, Christoffel Brändli.

A provisional sporting concept sees events taking place in four regions – the Upper Engadine (with St Moritz as its centre), Davos/Klosters, the Chur region (with Flims/Laax, Arosa and Lenzerheide, as well as Zurich.

Switzerland’s financial centre has been included in the project because of its indoor stadium and its infrastructure – airport, congress and communications facilities – and the city’s know-how in organising large sporting events.

The working group says that as a classic Winter sports canton, Graubünden already has facilities meeting international requirements. The only construction necessary on the sporting side would be a large ski jump and an ice-skating stadium.

The group adds that if reaction to the study is positive, a candidacy could be worked out to put before the cantonal authorities and the Swiss Olympic Association. Voters in canton Graubünden could be asked to approve the project early next year.

By Robert Brookes




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