Switzerland is out of the running to host the 2026 Winter Olympics after citizens voted to reject the country’s bid. Voters in the Swiss canton of Valais rejected a proposal to fund a bid to stage the event in Sion by a vote of 54 per cent.
Sion offered what the bidders termed a sustainable Olympics, relying on already existing jumps and ski courses. Voters rejected assurances from the International Olympic Committee and bid supporters that expensive new construction would not be needed.
The International Olympic Committee blamed the loss on “outdated information on the cost of the Games”, saying in a statement that this was the “main concern for those voting against the funding”. It claimed the “recent fundamental reforms undertaken by the IOC have unfortunately not been taken into consideration”.
Sion Mayor Philippe Varone said the vote Sunday was the end of the bid. He says “there is no Plan B.” The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed Switzerland would not nominate a different city.
Six countries remain in contention, with IOC members making their decision in September 2019. Those bids are Turin and Milan in Italy, Graz in Austria, Stockholm in Sweden, Turkey’s Erzurum, Calgary in Canada and Sapporo in Japan.
The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing, China.