Five different projects are vying to be named as the Swiss Winter Olympic bid ©Getty Images

Five different projects are being considered by Swiss Olympic Association (SOV) as the country presses ahead with its plans to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It follows the closing of the registration process for domestic projects yesterday.

Different parts of the country are represented within the five bids, including a joint effort by western French-speaking cantons entitle "Swiss Made Winter Games".

An "Olympic Winter Games 2026 Graubünden and partners" attempt has also been launched along with a "Central Switzerland 2026" bid.

Two others are entitled "Switzerland 2026" and "2026 - Games for our future", with full details of precisely what they represent still to be compiled.

“It’s with great satisfaction that we can see that the process that we have started has attracted projects which are, from the very beginning, of great quality,” SOV President Jörg Schild said.

“We are now going to work together to refine and strengthen them to build more than just a simple candidacy.

"We want a real national project for the future of our country.”

The five projects were announced by SOV President Jörg Schild ©SOV
The five projects were announced by SOV President Jörg Schild ©SOV

News of the potential Swiss Olympic bids coincided with the start of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)  Executive Board due to start here this afternoon. 

Switzerland is bidding to host its first Winter Olympics since St Moritz 1948 and continue the momentum generated when Lausanne was awarded the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games last year.

St Morit, an alpine resort town in the Engadin, had also hosted the 1928 Olympics. 

A number of Swiss candidacies have collapsed in recent years, including for the 2006 Winter Olympics and Paralympics when Sion, the capital of canton Valais, was defeated by Turin. 

Other bids from Graubünden, Bern, Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva have all failed because of local opposition or because the SOV did not support them. 

Capitalising upon the more flexible bidding process encouraged under the IOC Agenda 2020 reform process is one reason for the fresh enthusiasm, it has been claimed. 

Using the Games as a catalyst to boost the winter sports industry is another.

Switzerland has not hosted the Winter Olympics since St Moritz in 1948 ©Olympic Museum
Switzerland has not hosted the Winter Olympics since St Moritz in 1948 ©Olympic Museum

A bid would have to be deemed beneficial for the host region while also having the "capacity and attractiveness" to be awarded the Games.

Workshops are now due to be held over the next four months with each of the five projects.

A referendum would then have to be held within the local population in the first half of next year before a final decision is made in 2017.

It is still possible the bid could be abandoned if no suitable candidate emerges.

Trento in Italy, Dresden in Germany, 2022 race runner-up Almaty in Kazakhstan, Sweden's capital Stockholm, Quebec City and Calgary in Canada, Lake Placid in United States and the Japanese city of Sapporo have all been touted as potential bidders for 2026.

Austria could also launch a bid.