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2026 Two Swiss regions hand in early Winter Olympics bids


Sion in canton Valais has been named the host city in one of the bids

(Keystone)

Two cantonal organisations have submitted bids to Swiss Olympic for consideration for the 2026 Winter Games. 

Canton Graubünden handed in a bid on which citizens will have the final say on February 12, 2017. The host city has not yet been named in their proposal. 

In addition, a group from cantons Valais, Vaud, Fribourg and Bern submitted a joint proposal named “Sion 2026: the Winter Games in the heart of Switzerland”. As the name implies, the group has proposed Sion in canton Valais as the host city. Competitions would take place in as many as 20 separate locations in an area including Bern, Lausanne, Montreux, Aigle and Sion. 

Swiss Olympic, Switzerland’s umbrella organisation for Olympic Games, will decide in March 2017 which of the bids it will put forward to its parliament as an official candidate for the 2026 Games. The parliament will decide in April whether to move forward with the bid, which would then be submitted to the International Olympic Committee. 

The total costs for submitting an Olympic bid are around CHF24 million ($23.3 million), which must be shared equally among the host location, federal government and Swiss Olympic. 

Switzerland hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1928 and 1948. Since then, it has submitted numerous unsuccessful bids, with Sion losing out three times: 1976, 2002 and 2006. 

In 2013, voters in canton Graubünden decided against a bid for the 2022 Winter Games at the ballot box with 53% against. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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