Switzerland to bid for Winter Olympics with ‘decentralised’ approach and private sector funding
Switzerland has officially thrown its hat into the ring for the opportunity to host either the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. This decision comes after the unanimous support of the country’s Olympic Committee member federations, signifying a unified effort to bring the prestigious sporting event back to Swiss soil.
In a departure from previous bids, Switzerland aims to organise a ‘decentralised’ Games, utilising existing facilities scattered across the nation. The emphasis on decentralisation aligns with the country’s historical approach, having hosted the Winter Games twice before, in Saint Moritz in 1928 and 1948.
The unique aspect of this bid lies in Switzerland’s commitment to funding the Games predominantly through the private sector, with plans to maintain a budget of CHF1.5 billion (US$1.7 billion). This budget-conscious approach, if successfully adhered to, would position these Winter Olympics as the most cost-effective in history, adjusted for inflation, as reported by Bloomberg. Switzerland’s effort to rein in costs reflects a strategic move amid recent struggles to garner support from the Swiss population in previous bid referendums.
In the upcoming bidding process, Switzerland faces competition from formidable contenders for the 2030 Games, including France, Sweden and Salt Lake City in the US. The recent withdrawal of Japanese city Sapporo has altered the landscape, potentially leaving the door open for Switzerland’s bid for the 2034 Games.
Jurg Stahl, the Swiss Olympic president, expressed optimism about the project.
“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,” Stahl said.
This unified backing from within the Swiss sports community showcases the significance of the bid for the nation’s sporting landscape.
As the International Olympic Committee (IOC), headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, prepares to make decisions on advancing bids to the next phase, the end of this month promises clarity on Switzerland’s standing in the competitive race to host the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in either 2030 or 2034.