Switzerland's 2030 Winter Olympic bid: What we know so far

Switzerland's 2030 Winter Olympic bid: What we know so far

The Swiss Olympic Association (Swiss Olympic) has announced that it is looking into hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics Games in Switzerland. While still in the planning stages, if approved the Swiss bid will see events take place across the country, and is expected to focus on being low-cost and sustainable.

Switzerland mulls 2030 Winter Olympic bid

In a statement given to Watson, Swiss Olympic confirmed that they are considering submitting a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympic Games, after preliminary talks proved successful earlier this year. At the moment, the organisation is conducting a feasibility study into the plan and will announce a final decision in the autumn

“Of course we can hold the Winter Olympics in Switzerland. The crucial question is whether we want to”, noted director Ralph Stöckli. Urs Lehmann, entrepreneur and president of Swiss Ski, confirmed that “the project is picking up speed. I am absolutely convinced that we can organise something like this together - and already in 2030.”

If approved, Switzerland would join Stockholm, Salt Lake City and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (France) in submitting bids. If the alpine nation wins the nomination, it will be the first full Winter Olympics to be held in the country since 1948.

Winter Olympics 2030 would take place across Swiss cantons

Swiss Olympic confirmed that if it were to be held in Switzerland, the Games would not take place in a single ski resort or city - the first Olympic Games to not focus on a single location. Instead, all the events would be divided between each language region - including Romansh-speaking areas. Organisers have also promised that the Swiss games will be the most sustainable ever attempted.

Experts told Watson that Switzerland is "ideally placed" to host the Winter Olympics, with the country already set to host the World or European Championships of 10 of the 14 official Winter Olympic sports. No additional sports facilities need to be built, and certain events that need specialist facilities - like speed skating arenas - could be held in nearby countries like Austria and Germany.

They added that Swiss Olympic already has the know-how needed to host the games. Finally, in the statement, the organisation noted that the “best public transport network in the world” would allow spectators to attend all the events they want, despite them being spaced throughout the country.

Two barriers remain for Swiss Olympic bid

While "ideally placed," there are two hurdles yet to be overcome if Switzerland is to host the games: referendums and cost. First, despite already being supported by the government and Sports Minister Viola Amherd, the plans will need to face a referendum in order to go ahead - Valais famously voted against attempting to host the games in the canton at a vote in 2018. Second is the cost, estimated by Watson to be around 1,5 billion francs.

To counter these issues, the majority of the feasibility study will focus on whether Swiss citizens would vote to host the Winter Olympics, and how they could be convinced to do so. “Sport cannot afford another “No” from the population”, concluded the director of the Federal Office for Sport, Matthias Remund.

Thumb image credit: Andrew Will /

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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