Swiss sports federations green light 2030 Winter Olympics bid
At a meeting on November 24, all Swiss sports federations voted unanimously to support Switzerland’s bid to host the Winter Olympic Games in 2030. In an effort to garner support for the bid, the Swiss Olympic Association's (Swiss Olympic) proposal promises the most economical in history.
Update: Sadly, the International Olympic Committee confirmed on November 29 that it would only be pursuing the French bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics. However, the IOC will give Switzerland a streamlined application should it choose to bid for the 2038 games.
Swiss Winter Olympic bid for 2030 given unanimous backing
In a statement, the Swiss Sports Parliament gave its unanimous support for Switzerland's 2030 Winter Olympic bid. They also supported a bid to host the 2034 Winter Olympics, should the government and Swiss Olympic fail to set up and vote on the proposal in time.
Currently, Switzerland faces rival proposals from Stockholm-Åre in Sweden and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in France. Instead of focusing on one canton or city, the Swiss games would be held across the country.
2030 Winter Olympics in Switzerland would be cheapest games ever
Despite its reputation for mountains and ski resorts, Switzerland has only hosted the Winter Olympics twice. Both were held in St. Moritz in 1928 and 1948 - the country also hosted the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne. The last attempt at hosting the games was a narrowly defeated bid for 2006 by Sion, Canton Valais.
As part of Switzerland’s bid, authorities said that they wanted to steer away from spending large amounts of money. They confirmed that their proposal would cost 1,6 billion US dollars, dramatically less than what was spent on the games in Beijing in 2022 (2,24 billion approx) and in Pyeongchang in 2018 (13 billion). When adjusted for inflation, it would be arguably the cheapest Olympics ever and the most cost-effective since Los Angeles made a slim profit on their games in 1984.
Opponents of Swiss Olympic worry about the cost
The low budget is considered to be a counter to critics of the games, who argue that hosting the Olympics is not value for money. In Sion’s last attempt at hosting the Olympics in 2026, the proposal was rejected at referendum in 2018 before it was even submitted, after it was revealed that the games would cost 1,86 billion francs and only generate direct revenues of 1,35 billion.
This threat of referendum defeat has loomed large over Swiss bids ever since. “Of course, we can hold the Winter Olympics in Switzerland," noted Swiss Olympic director Ralph Stöckli back in August. “The crucial question is whether we want to.”
IOC to decide on Swiss Olympic bid before Paris 2024
“Switzerland is a living democracy, and we still have to provide many concrete answers based on our concept if we want to continue to count on positive support from the population”, Swiss Ski president Urs Lehmann told SRF, noting that there still needs to be discussions between the government and cantons on security and other official matters. “We were always aware that the project was extremely ambitious in terms of time,” he conceded.
Nevertheless, supporters argued that the Swiss bid is best in terms of cost and sustainability, as it would not require any new facilities to be built. The International Olympic Committee is expected to decide on the location of the games shortly before the Paris Summer Olympics in 2024, with a referendum on the Swiss bid expected in the near future.
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