Swiss Olympic's Executive Council Nominates Sion 2026 as the Swiss Candidate for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

The Executive Council of Swiss Olympic decided on two important issues regarding the nomination of a Swiss bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Game. 

Today, the Executive Council of Swiss Olympic decided on two important issues regarding the nomination of a Swiss bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Firstly, it decided that the project «Sion 2026. The Games in the heart of Switzerland» had all the qualities required to provide such benefits. Secondly, the Executive Council also expressed its willingness to see Swiss Olympic take an active role in the bid, and thus confirmed its contribution to the bid budget. These decisions will have to be validated by the «Parliament of Sport», the general assembly of Swiss Olympic, on 11th April 2017.

The Executive Council has taken these decisions on the basis of two separate reports, produced by the 2026 Taskforce in charge of guiding and evaluating candidate projects since early 2016 (reports available here). These studies determined that the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games could have a significant economic impact for the country as a whole, estimated to be between 2.1 to 2.5 billion Swiss francs. Various surveys have also highlighted a very pronounced interest for the Games in the tourism, economic and sports sectors. Surveys in the areas of environment and sustainability, as well as civil society, have also shown very interesting opportunities. Additionally, the results of a survey of international Olympic experts have confirmed good chances of a winning Swiss bid if it is strong and innovative.

These reports both concluded that, at this stage, «Sion 2026. The Games in the heart of Switzerland» fulfilled all the criteria imposed and therefore had the potential to be the new, innovative project with a truly national impact, as sought by Swiss Olympic.

Following these reflections, the Executive Council decided to play a central role in the bid to ensure a strong presence of Swiss sport in the project. In order to do so, Swiss Olympic confirmed its intention to contribute 8 million Swiss francs, which represents one third of the established bid budget.

The reports of the Taskforce 2026 are available for download here.

Jürg Stahl, President of Swiss Olympic, said: «The results of the studies are clear: by setting up a new, modern and therefore truly pioneering Olympic project, the Games can have a strong beneficial impact in several important areas for our country. Swiss Olympic has its role to play in developing this great national project, by organising a refreshing Games with balanced finances and a sustainable approach. This process will provide us with the opportunity to have a real debate on the future of tourism in our country and our relationship with the environment. Switzerland is never as strong as when it is a pioneer, and these Games are an opportunity to create a new generation of pioneers, not only for the future of the Games but for the future of our country.»

Didier Cuche, former world class Swiss skier, Olympic medal winner and member of the 2026 Taskforce, added: «Of course, the Olympic Games are one of the best catalysts for sport development in our societies. But the opinion of the Taskforce is unanimous in believing that we have to go beyond that. We must create a great project that gives the next generation the opportunity to truly contribute to the development of tomorrow’s Switzerland. Through sport, this can be achieved. Sion 2026 has the potential to be this great project for Switzerland, set within the strict financial framework that we have developed, and with the conditions that have guided us since the beginning of this process. I look forward to continuing to closely follow the development of this bid.»

For more information please contact:

Alexander Waefler,

Head of Media and Information, Swiss Olympic

Tel: +41 31 359 72 16

Email: alexander.waefler@swissolympic.ch

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