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Zurich teams up with Graubunden to bid for 2010 Olympics

The Swiss Olympic Association will have to choose between the two bids in January 2001


Zurich has announced it is to team up with canton Graubunden in a bid to host the Winter Olympics in 10 years' time.

They are bidding against Berne and the lakeside resort of Montreux which made public their intentions to jointly host the event last month.

Following the announcement in March by canton Zurich that it was ready in principle to support such a joint bid, the city council announced on Wednesday that it was ready to back part of the project financially.

The backing is limited to the beginning of the bid, because the people of both Zurich and Graubunden have yet to vote on whether they agree to the projects.

Zurich city council will contribute an initial SFr90,000 to the application procedure. The sum will be followed by three further installments of SFr150,000.

The canton of Zurich has also pledged to contribute financially to the bid.

Correspondents say the advantage for the Zurich-Graubunden bid is that much of the infrastructure for the multiple sporting events is already in place.

The Berne-Montreux candidature claims it has two key strengths: it spans Switzerland's main language regions and reflects the country's cultural ambitions. Montreux is best known for its annual international Jazz Festival.

Organisers of the bid bringing together Berne with the Lake Geneva tourist region insist environmental protection and the economic sustainability of the project will be central to the bid.

The Zurich-Grabunden candidature said it would ensure that traffic and other environmental issues would be adequately dealt with before the event.

The Swiss Olympic Association will have to choose between the two bids in January 2001. Two years later, the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee will announce the winning candidate for the 2010 Games from a pool of international bidders.

swissinfo with agencies

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