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Austrian government backs Innsbruck bid for 2026 Olympics

Innsbruck has taken a further step towards officially joining the bidding race for the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after the Austrian government backed the effort.

The Austrian Olympic Committee (OOC) yesterday (Thursday) revealed the government’s support for a 2026 Games in Innsbruck and the state of Tyrol. It said in a statement: “The Council of Ministers supported a possible application for Olympic and Paralympic winter Games in Tyrol/Innsbruck in 2026 and examined how and to what extent the confederation could make an appropriate contribution to financing in the context of federal support or other financing options.”

The OOC in October said it would conduct a feasibility study into a bid to return the winter Games to Innsbruck for a third time in 2026. The study was to be jointly financed by the AOC, the City of Innsbruck and the Austrian government. Austria has staged the winter Games on two occasions, in 1964 and 1976, with Innsbruck playing host on both occasions.

The study was completed last month and Christine Oppitz-Plörer, the Mayor of Innsbruck, said: “The results of the feasibility study are crucial as a basis for a self-assured offer towards compatible Games with real added value for the population. This will provide sound and transparent information and a basis for a country-wide public inquiry.”

OOC president Karl Stoss added: “The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recognised the signs of the times and launched the Olympic Agenda 2020, a reform package focusing on the cost reduction and reorganisation of hosting contracts. A Tyrolean offer… which is now supported by the Austrian federal government, is a great opportunity for our country.”