The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

IOC buries Swiss Olympic plans for 2030

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 1 December 2023

The dream of hosting the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Switzerland has been dashed. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has dropped both Swiss Olympic’s and Sweden’s bids and is only entering the dialog phase with the French bid.

IOC buries Swiss Olympic plans for 2030
A board before a IOC Executive Board meeting Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Paris. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard)

The IOC’s negative decision came on Wednesday, five days after the Swiss sports parliament unanimously decided to press ahead with the Olympic plans for 2030. The Swiss idea of decentralized games, with existing competition venues and venues spread across the country, did not find favor with the IOC (for the time being).

Although the IOC is convinced by the Swiss project, it still sees potential for optimization in the areas of sports venue planning and financing, among others, Swiss Olympic wrote in a communiqué.

Frankreich 2030, Salt Lake City 2034

Sweden and France were also interested in the 2030 Winter Games. Only the latter was given the green light by the IOC to enter the dialog phase. This means that France will receive the Winter Games just six years after the 2024 Summer Games. Following the IOC’s decision in Paris, the commitment next July appears to be a mere formality.

For Switzerland, it is another disappointment in the long list of Olympic bids. Having hosted the Winter Games twice in 1928 and 1948 (both times in St. Moritz), there have been several attempts at Swiss Olympic bids over the last few decades, many of which have failed at the ballot box. Not so this time. According to a feasibility study, two thirds of the Swiss population were in favor of the current project.

Switzerland also failed to make the cut for the alternative host year of 2034. The US bid from Salt Lake City is the only one being pursued by the IOC.

However, the dream of a Winter Olympics in Switzerland is not completely off the table. The IOC has granted Switzerland preferential rights for 2038 should it reapply.

Optimistic for 2038

This means that Switzerland has until the end of 2027 to explore the issues raised in greater depth and enter exclusively into the “Targeted Dialogue” for the 2038 Olympic and Paralympic Games, provided both parties feel ready to do so.

“Our focus was on the 2030 or 2034 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But in sport in particular, you have to be flexible,” said Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl. He continued: “We now have the opportunity to further develop our project together and are convinced that our framework conditions, extensive experience and reliability make us an excellent partner for the IOC, also with a view to 2038.”

Ruth Wipfli Steinegger, Co-President of the “Switzerland 203x” association, echoes this sentiment: “We recognize the IOC’s willingness to continue discussing our unique Olympic project. The door has been opened wide for Switzerland to host the 2038 event.”

It is clear that the team led by Thomas Rechberger, CEO of the “Switzerland 203x” association, still has a lot of work to do: “Our focus so far has been on hosting the 2030 Olympic Games, but now we have to rethink and analyze the new situation. We have more time to develop concrete proposals on key issues together with the authorities and other stakeholders from civil society and business,” they said.

Amherd welcomes future prospects

Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport Viola Amherd welcomed the developments in the bidding process: “As Minister of Sport, I am delighted with the IOC’s decision to grant Switzerland access to the Privileged Dialogue for the 2038 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” she announced on Wednesday evening.

Thanks to the forward-looking Swiss bid project and the good discussions between the IOC, Swiss Olympic and the DDPS in recent months, the first Games in Switzerland since 1948 in St. Moritz are within reach.

©Keystone/SDA

Most Read

Sunday, March 31 – Weekend Round-Up

31 March 2024
Sunday, March 31 – Weekend Round-Up
The top Swiss municipalities for cost of living, Switzerland's diplomatic approach on international issues, and the healthcare sector's challenges.

Huge Rain Falls in Certain Regions of Ticino

1 April 2024
Huge Rain Falls in Certain Regions of Ticino
Over 200 litres of rain and snow per square meter inundated Ticino and neighbouring areas during the Easter weekend.

The Park Hyatt Zurich Has Been Sold

4 April 2024
The Park Hyatt Zurich Has Been Sold
Trinity Investments, Oaktree Capital Management, and UBS Asset Management acquire Park Hyatt Zurich.

Swiss Francs Will Lose Value Against The Euro This Year – BOA Analysis Claims

1 April 2024
Swiss Francs Will Lose Value Against The Euro This Year – BOA Analysis Claims
US banks foresee the Swiss Franc reaching parity with the Euro this year, with further appreciation expected by 2025.

Stay in Touch!

Noteworthy

The Park Hyatt Zurich Has Been Sold
The Park Hyatt Zurich Has Been Sold
4 April 2024
Attempted Homicide in Ticino Has Almost Doubled
Attempted Homicide in Ticino Has Almost Doubled
4 April 2024