Didier Cuche has been named as part of the Taskforce evaluating a Swiss bid for the 2026 Games ©Getty Images

Olympic medallists Didier Cuche and Florence Schelling have been named on the Taskforce which will evaluate the five projects put forward as part of Switzerland’s likely bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cuche, a silver medallist in the super-G at Nagano 1998 and who clinched the world title in 2009, and ice hockey bronze medallist Schelling have been joined by a number of Swiss officials on the Taskforce.

They have been split into five groups - politics, sport, environment, business and tourism - and will work alongside the four International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on the body, chaired by Swiss Olympic Association (SOV) President Jörg Schild.

Swiss Paralympic President Thomas Troger is the vice-chair.

René Fasel and Gian Franco Kasper, the Presidents of the International Ice Hockey Federation and International Ski Federation, will bring valuable Winter Olympic Games experience to the Taskforce.

They will be joined by Switzerland's other IOC members, SportAccord President Patrick Baumann and Denis Oswald, the former head of the International Rowing Federation.

The IOC members will help supervise and monitor the five projects.

Jürg Stahl, vice-president of the Swiss National Council and President Parliamentary Sport Group, will be the politics representative, with Cuche and Schelling the sporting members of the Taskforce.

Beat Jans, National Councillor, President eco.ch and a member of the Foundation Board Swiss Foundation for landscape conservation, will focus on the environment and Economiesuisse President Heinz Karrer is set to provide his economic expertise.

Director Switzerland Tourism Jürg Schmid will head up the tourism area of the body, which is scheduled to deliver an evaluation report on each of the projects in early 2017.

Based on that report, Swiss Olympic’s Executive Council will make a final recommendation to the Swiss Sport Parliament, who will have the final say on whether the country should pursue a bid for the Games in 2026.

They are expected to make a final decision in September 2017.

The Taskforce is led by Swiss Olympic Association President Jörg Schild ©SOV
The Taskforce is led by Swiss Olympic Association President Jörg Schild ©SOV

The Taskforce, which held its first meeting last week, will therefore have a crucial part to play in Switzerland’s potential attempt to secure the hosting rights for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics for the first time since St Moritz 1948.

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.

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

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

St Moritz, 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.

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

Quebec City in Canada, an early contender, has already announced that it will not pursue its interest.