Switzerland in talks with IOC about hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics

Switzerland in talks with IOC about hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics

82 years after the last time it was held in the country, 2030 could see a Swiss ski resort host the Winter Olympic Games. According to a new report from Watson, the International Olympic Committee is currently in discussions with authorities about whether Switzerland could host the event in seven years' time.

2030 Winter Olympic Games could be coming to Switzerland

At an event on March 23 in Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) received a delegation of Swiss officials. At the meeting, IOC directors announced that they wanted to explore the possibility of bringing the Winter Olympic Games to Switzerland in 2030.

Not for want of trying, Switzerland has only held the Winter Olympics on two occasions, hosting the second (1928) and fifth (1948) iterations of the event in St. Moritz - recently voted one of the greatest places on earth by TIME. Further attempts to bring the games back to the country have failed, mainly because of cantonal referendums.

2030 the first serious Olympic bid from Switzerland since Sion 2006

The last serious effort to bring the games to Switzerland was a strongly supported bid by Canton Valais in 2006. Sadly, the Valaisanner’s bid lost in heartbreaking fashion to Turin, Italy in the final vote, with IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch famously declaring “Torino instead of Sion.”

The alpine nation's bid for 2030 has been strongly supported by international companies in Switzerland and the skiing and athletics associations. They argue that the recent wave of sporting success from Swiss winter athletes should be rewarded by hosting the games.

Watson noted that the alpine nation’s chances of winning the nomination are good, with only Sweden thought to be seriously pushing to be host in 2030. Out of the two other bids announced, Salt Lake City is likely to switch to bidding for 2034 because of the event's proximity to the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, while the bid from Sapporo in Japan has largely been withdrawn due to a corruption scandal.

Swiss Olympic Committee yet to get on board

However, before the world’s athletic elite can be flown into Swiss airports and shepherded to the mountains, several hurdles remain.

First: an official bid would have to be launched. A spokesperson from Swiss Olympic - Switzerland's Olympic committee - told Watson that while they welcomed the possibility of hosting, it and supporters of the bid would be meeting on March 30 in order to decide - in true Swiss fashion - whether to convert the “current informal dialogue” into more “continuous dialogue” with the IOC about hosting.

Second, and also quite crucially, a Swiss canton would have to agree to be the host. At a referendum in 2018, Canton Valais voted against any further attempts to host the games, leaving Graubünden, Bern and possibly Vaud as the only viable candidates.

Thumb image: / Eug Png

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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