Graubünden says no to hosting 2026 winter Olympics

Residents of the canton of Graubünden on Sunday rejected a plan for the area to host the 2026 winter Olympics.

Graubünden says no to hosting 2026 winter Olympics
The campaign to put Graubünden forward as a candidate was defeated at the polls on Sunday. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Over 60 percent of people voted in a referendum against the idea of Graubünden becoming the official Swiss candidate.
The cantonal authorities were asking for approval of a 25 million franc fund for Graubünden’s candidacy.
Only nine million of that would have been paid by the canton itself, the rest being paid by the federal government and the Swiss Olympic committee, reported news agency ATS
The plan would have seen the Games spread over various locations in the canton as well as in Zurich, Einsiedeln and Engelberg. 
Backers said hosting the Games would bring a welcome boost to Graubünden’s economy, which has suffered in recent years under the strong franc and a dip in winter tourism.
It’s the second time in five years that the canton has rejected such a plan. In 2013 a proposal for Graubünden to host the 2022 winter games was also quashed.
According to some, this new proposal came to soon after the last one. 
The rejection of Graubünden leaves only one other region in the running as the Swiss candidate for 2026. 
Last May the cantons of Vaud and Valais teamed up to launch a joint bid for candidacy that would see the Games spread out across several sites in the two cantons. 
Sion was chosen as the host city of the shared bid, though competitions would be held in 14 towns and cities including Lausanne, Champéry, Crans-Montana, Verbier and Zermatt. 
Sites further afield, such as St Moritz and Kandersteg, could even be involved.
With only one candidacy now on the table, national Olympic committee Swiss Olympic will spend the next few weeks assessing whether Sion 2026 meets the specified criteria – namely, that hosting the winter Olympics there would have a positive impact on the country, and that it has the capabilities to win its bid for the Games in 2019. 
Swiss Olympic will make its decision on March 7th, before final confirmation on April 11th.
Switzerland has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games, in 1928 and 1948, both times in St Moritz, Graubünden.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics

Organisers of the Paris Olympics have released a new list of venues for events in the 2024 games - including one 15,000km away from Paris.

MAP: Here is where events will be held for 2024 Paris Olympics
Photo: AFP

The revised map of venues still needs to be approved by the board of directors on December 17th, but is expected to remain unchanged.

Faced with the financial crisis caused by the pandemic and lockdowns, the Paris committee has come up with a revised venue list which its says will save €150 million by scrapping two building projects and amalgamating other events into the same venue.

The big loser is the département of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris, which was to get two new temporary sites for aquatic events and volleyball.

However the area keeps the Olympic Village for athletes, while the opening ceremony and athletics events will be at Stade de France in the area.


Here is a high-res version of the above map, and here is an overview of the revised map of events;

Lille – The handball events, previously planned for Paris, will be held at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Lille in northern France.

Marseille – the southern city of Marseille will hold sailing events

Tahiti – will host surfing. The island of Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, one of France's overseas territories, which makes it technically part of France, despite being 15,000km away from Paris.

Versailles – The site of one of the world's most famous royal palaces is only about 20km outside Paris and will host equestrian events and the modern pentathlon.

Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines – the Vélodrome nationale in the town of Saint-Quentin, about 25km outside Paris, will host the track cycling events, while golf will be held in the same town.

Elancourt – the town of Elancourt, about 30km from Paris, will hold the mountain bike events, while nearby Trappes will host the BMX bike events.

Vaires-sur-Marne – the commune about 25km east of Paris will host canoeing and kayaking at the Stade nautique.


But unsurprisingly for a Paris Olympics, most events are in or around the city. Here's an overview of the bigger events.

Stade de France – France's 81,000-seater national stadium in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis north of Paris will host the opening ceremony, followed by athletics and rugby.

Seine-Saint-Denis is one of France's poorest départements, and the Olympics had been envisaged as a major regeneration project for the area. In spite of the loss of two venues in the cost-cutting programme, there is still plenty happened in the northern area.

Diving, synchronised swimming and water polo will all be held in the Aquatics Centre.

Olympic Village – the athletes will stay in purpose-build accommodation in Saint-Denis which afterwards will be available as housing for local people.

Shooting, climbing and the media centre will be hosted in Le Bourget, Seine-Saint-Denis.

Hockey – will be held in Colombes, in the Hauts-de-Seine département to the west of the city.

Moving within the city boundaries there are 12 locations that will be used for Olympic events.

Swimming – will be at the La Défense Arena in western Paris. A multi-function arena, it is the home of Stade Français rugby club, while also hosting multiple sports events and being used as a music venue in the evening.

Tennis and boxing – Roland Garros – home of the French Open – will naturally host tennis events, as well as boxing.

Table-tennis, weight-lifting, volleyball and basketball – the Parc des Expositions will host these events and the preliminary matches of the basketball events.

Gymnastics and basketball – the Accor Arena hosts the finals of the basketball, as well as gymnastics events.

Football – Parc des Princes, home of Paris-Saint-Germain, will host the football.

Badminton, rhythmic gymnastics – the La Chapelle arena hosts rhythmic gymnastics events, plus badminton.

But the Paris committee is also keen to use non-sporting venues to host events, including plenty of outdoor venues, to really integrate the games into the daily life of the city.

Taekwondo and fencing – the beautiful and historic Grand Palais, which usually operates as a museum, will host fencing and taekwondo.

Cycling – some cycle events will finish along the Champs-Elysée, as the Tour de France does.

Urban sports – this year's new events, including breakdancing, and other urban sports will be held in the Place de la Concorde

Archery – will be held at Invalides, a historic landmark begun in 1690 on the orders of Louis XIV for injured soldiers.

Wrestling, judo and beach-volleyball – will be held on the Champs-de-Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.

Cycling, walking racing, marathon, triathlon and open-water swimming – these will all be held partially on (or underneath in the case of the swimming) the Pont d'Iéna over the River Seine in central Paris. 

The games run from July 26th to August 11th, 2024, followed by the Paralympic Games from August 28th to  September 8th, 2024.