Switzerland on Friday announced it would bid for either the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which would be the third time the Alpine country has hosted the event.
Switzerland has pledged to organise a “decentralised” Games using existing facilities spread across the country of around 9 million people. It said the Games would be largely financed by the private sector.
A statement from the Swiss Olympic Association said the member federations of the country’s Olympic Committee had voted unanimously in support of the plans to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games at their general assembly.
The statement said the vote confirmed a shared ambition to move into the next phase of the bidding process with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), called the “targeted dialogue” phase.
The IOC are set to decide which countries will move forward to the next phase of the process by the end of the month.
“The delegates of Switzerland’s sports federations have sent a strong message of support for a project that could provide a unique momentum for Swiss sport as a whole, as well as for our country,” Swiss Olympic President Jurg Stahl said in the statement.
Other destinations vying to hold the 2030 Games include Salt Lake City in the United States, the host of the 2002 Games, as well as Sweden and France.
Japan’s northern city of Sapporo last month dropped its bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics and said it would consider hosting the Games in 2034 or in subsequent years.
“Switzerland is lucky to already practically have all the necessary infrastructure, ranging from sporting venues to its transport network and accommodation,” Urs Lehmann, president of the Swiss Ski Association, said last month. “Let’s seize this opportunity.”
The International Olympic Committee last month approved a proposal to pursue a double allocation of two successive Winter Games in 2030 and 2034 due to concerns over the threat of climate change on snow sports. It is expected to make the selection next year.
According to studies by the IOC’s future host commission for Winter Games, only 10 nations would be able to host the snow sports of the Olympic Winter and Paralympic Games by 2040.
Switzerland – which hosted the Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz in 1928 and 1948 – has struggled in recent years to get its population behind its Olympic bids.
Its efforts to host the Games have been rejected in referendums on several occasions. Swiss Olympic said the cantons that are home to the facilities that could serve as venues had been consulted and had given their agreement in principle for the Games.
A public vote made Switzerland withdraw its bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
The country has never hosted the Summer Olympics.
Switzerland is also home to the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne and those of several international sports governing bodies.