The results of a nationwide consultation process will be announced on March 11 ©Getty Images

Results of a consultation process contemplating the merits of a 2026 Winter Olympics bid will be unveiled by the Swiss Olympic Association (SOA) in March, it has been announced. 

Consultation work began earlier this year, with the SOC claiming how bidding for the Games is “an extremely important matter for the National Olympic Committee”.

A result is scheduled to be announced following an extraordinary meeting of the Swiss Sport Parliament - the General Assembly of SOC - on March 11, 2016.

“We are very happy to see so much enthusiasm across the various regions of the country for a 2026 bid,” said SOC President Jörg Schild.

“This shows that the sport movement and the Olympic spirit is strong and healthy in Switzerland, we are of course taking this into consideration.

“A bid for the Games is something very important that we need to study in detail.

“This is what we are currently doing and we look forward to announcing the results of our work in a few months.”

In the event that the consultation favour a bid for the Games, the SOC would then announce the procedure which would be put into place to decide the best project, which would then be put forward to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The city of Sion could be one the options for the SOC, after a plan was presented to the State Council of Valais in October.

Christian Constantin is leading an effort for Sion to host the 2026 Winter Olympics
Christian Constantin is leading an effort for Sion to host the 2026 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Spearheaded by Christian Constantin, the President of Swiss Super League football team FC Sion, the plan proposes using existing venues in the canton.

Events could also be held in Kandersteg, St. Moritz and Lausanne, with the latter having won the right to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games earlier this year.

Sion has never hosted a Games, bidding unsuccessfully for the winter event on three separate occasions in 1976, 2002 and 2006; editions ultimately awarded to Innsbruck, Salt Lake City and Turin respectively.

Additionally the cantonal government of Graubünden have also voted in favour of developing a candidacy, with 90 of their 120 members backing the project.

It follows their unsuccessful attempt to bid for the 2022 Winter Games.

Their proposal to hold events in St Moritz and Davos failed following a state referendum, with 52.66 per cent voting against the proposal to the 47.34 who were in favour.

It is hoped a more economical Games could receive more support, with events spread outside the canton as a result of the IOC’s Agenda 2020 reforms.

Switzerland last hosted the Winter Olympics in 1948, when events were held in St Moritz.

Switzerland last hosted the Winter Olympics in St Moritz in 1948 ©Getty Images
Switzerland last hosted the Winter Olympics in St Moritz in 1948 ©Getty Images

Should could face competition from the cities of Trento in Italy, Dresden in Germany, 2022 race runner-up Almaty in Kazakhstan, Sweden's capital Stockholm, Quebec City and Calgary in Canada, and the Japanese city of Sapporo, all mooted as potential bidders.

Last month a project to bring the Winter Olympics back to American town of Lake Placid for the first time since 1980 was also revealed, although their plan could be dependent on receiving winning a share of $1.5 billion (£975 million/€1.4 billion) in a state economic development competition.

It would also seemingly be dependent on Los Angeles being unsuccessful in its bid for the 2024 Summer Games. 

The host city will be selected at the 131st IOC Session in 2019.

Pyeongchang in South Korea is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, while China’s capital Beijing is due to be the first city to stage both a summer and winter Games having seen off the challenge of Almaty in July.

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 Plan to bring Winter Olympics back to Lake Placid in 2026 is launched
October 2015: FC Sion President hands 2026 Winter Olympic bid plans to State Government
September 2015: Calgary's Mayor confirms interest in 2026 Winter Olympics bid
December 2014: Sion rumoured to bid for 2026 Winter Olympic Games
November 2014: Sapporo targeting 2026 Winter Olympics to lead Japanese city to "new stage"