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Switzerland to press ahead with 2026 Olympics bid

The Swiss Olympic Committee will invite cities to express an interest in representing the country in a bid to host the 2026 winter Olympic Games.

The committee said on Friday that national associations had voted to launch a bidding process for the 2026 Games, with cities and regions invited to an April 20 meeting in Lausanne. Cities will submit bids to the committee by the end of this year. A decision on which city to put forward will be made by September 2017 following another referendum and a task force evaluation.

A proposed bid by St Moritz and Davos to host the 2022 Games was scrapped in 2013 following a public referendum. Switzerland, despite being the home of the International Olympic Committee and numerous international federations, has only hosted the Olympics on two occasions, with St Moritz staging the event in 1928 and 1948.

“We have launched this process because the fundamentals for hosting the Olympic Games… have changed dramatically and in a good way,” Swiss Olympic Committee president Joerg Schild said. “With our mountains and strong winter sports tradition we are pre-destined to host again the Winter Olympic Games and we will put sound financial and environmental planning at the core of a Swiss bid.”

The International Olympic Committee will select the winning city in 2019. PyeongChang and Beijing will host the next two editions of the Games, in 2018 and 2022.