The Swiss town of Montreux on Lake Geneva, best known for its annual Jazz Festival, has announced its bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. The proposal envisages holding events in five different cantons.
The organisers of the bid said on Monday they would put forward a detailed proposal by November. The plan foresees holding events not only around Montreux, in canton Vaud, but also in the neighbouring cantons of Berne, Fribourg and Valais, and in the southeastern canton of Graubünden.
The outline of the bid was presented by Jean-Pierre Seppey, who led the town of Sion's unsuccessful bid to host the 2006 Olympics. Seppey said SFr207 million would be needed to refurbish existing installations or build new ones. He said he hoped the federal government would contribute SFr167 million, and that the cantons would stump up for the rest.
Under the plans, Montreux itself would not host any sporting events. They would all be held at locations no more than one and a half hours away by public transport.
Seppey said Montreux had a good chance of success. He said Switzerland was the ideal location for the winter games, and had the necessary means, capacity and know-how. He also said the lessons had been learned from Sion's two unsuccessful bids.
However, Montreux will be facing stiff competition both in and outside Switzerland. Canton Graubünden has already put forward its application, and the Swiss Olympic Association will have to choose between them by January 17, 2001. The International Olympic Committee, based just down the road from Montreux in Lausanne, will take a final decision in 2003.
swissinfo with agencies