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Saturday October 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The capital city of the Tirol in Austria is looking at bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. NEW

It has already held the Games twice.

It is a highly credible bid as the city hosted The Games in 1964 and 1976.

In 2012 it held the Youth Winter Olympics.

The city is steeped in alpine and Olympic history.

It already has the backing of the Austrian government but that is conditional on the people of the Tirol actually wanting it and that is far from a certainty.

It needs the support of voters in 279 municipalities in Tirol for it to go ahead to the next stage.

"We want to start with Innsbruck/Tirol a trend change in Olympic Winter games - with a moderate, regional and sustainable concept," said the Austrian Olympic Committee general secretary, Peter Mennel Mennel.

"We want Tiroleans to say 'YES' to the Olympics."

Referendums have put paid to past Olympic bids and other cities have pulled out as they detected public hostility to the cost of The Games and whether there is any long term benefit to hosting the Games.

Some people also perceive the International Olympic Committee to be arrogant and out of touch.

Sunday's vote will show what the people think.

Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria












Austrian ski stars are also adding their name to the campaign.

"We should think about the next generations, give them the best conditions, and the Winter Games in front of our own country would help immensely," said the double Olympic gold medallist,  Benjamin Raich.

"I am firmly convinced that the people and above all our children will benefit from Tirol," he added.
The plans show there is no need for significant infrastructure spending and the events would be spread across the Tirol so more areas would benefit.

A cost of is €1.175 billion (£1 billion) has been put on the implementation budget. 

St. Anton would host the Alpine events with Hochfilzen & Seefeld staging biathlon and Nordic events.

It is claimed a bid would be "ecologically responsible, socially responsible, economically viable".

Sion in Switzerland and Calgary in Canada are among other potential contenders for 2026.

The Swiss Federal government recently delayed a decision on whether to back the Sion bid.

If it supports Sion it is likely a referendum will be held in Switzerland too.

Other contenders might include Almaty in Kazakhstan that missed out on the 2022 Games that went to Beijing. 

Sapporo in Japan and Erzurum in Turkey may also put their hats in the ring.

The USA is also thinking of putting forward a host city but is more likely to do so in 2030.

Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria












Innsbruck, AustriaInnsbruck, Austria













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