News article

Swiss Olympic explores sustainable Winter Games bid

August 17 2023

Swiss Olympic could bid to become the first ‘host country’ of the 2030, 2034 or 2038 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Swiss Olympic explores sustainable Winter Games bid

As part of the National Olympic Committee’s 203X strategy, Swiss Olympic entered into talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to examine the possibility of hosting the multi-sport competition. 

Swiss Olympic and the country’s winter sport national governing bodies launched a feasibility study in April over a potential bid. 

The committee said that it could host a sustainable and more cost-efficient Winter Olympics and Paralympics by taking a national approach, as it felt a host city or region could not effectively provide a sustainable platform. 

Swiss Olympic said that the feasibility study made it clear that no host city or region could be considered alone, with the Winter Olympic and Paralympic competition venues  distributed throughout the country. 

“This would make Switzerland the first ‘host country’ in Olympic history,” said Swiss Olympic in a press release. 

Over the next four years, Switzerland will aim to demonstrate its prowess in holding international sporting events. It is set to host world championships in bobsleigh and skeleton this year, biathlon in 2025, snowboard and ski freestyle in 2025, men’s ice hockey in 2026 and Alpine ski in 2027. 

Swiss Olympic said in a statement that it naturally presented itself as a ‘World Winter Sports Hub’ with modern sporting infrastructure and organisational knowhow. It also noted that for 13 out of 14 Olympic winter sports, Switzerland has the infrastructure available already, with the exception of speed skating. The committee said that talks could be held with other nations as partners to hold this event. 

“Under these conditions, gigantism is excluded.” Swiss Olympic Vice-President, Ruth Wipfli Steinegger

The concept would also mean that there would be no need for the construction of a large Olympic village, but for Olympic Hubs that could use existing accommodation facilities.

“Under these conditions, gigantism is excluded,” said Swiss Olympic Vice-President, Ruth Wipfli Steinegger.

The IOC has initiated a number of changes including adapting the potential host country’s needs.

“These and other cost-reducing measures contribute to the ecologically, economically and also socially sustainable winter games,” the statement said.

Steinegger added: “Under these new conditions, we are examining whether we can make a concrete contribution to the unifying power of the Olympic movement in Switzerland instead of limiting ourselves to the criticism of the host countries.”

Following the feasibility study and subsequent report, the Executive Council of Swiss Olympic will decide in October on the bid.

Image: Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

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