Austria’s Olympic Committee (ÖOC) has unanimously decided to support in principle the application of Graz and Schladming for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"This is an important first step," said ÖOC President Karl Stoss at the Committee’s mid-term Board meeting in Vienna.
“In order to be able to enter the preparatory phase with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), a clear commitment of the Styrian Provincial Government to the feasibility study or the definitive application will be necessary.”
ÖOC Secretary General Peter Mennel added: "We welcome the initiative.
“Now we have to define the framework in detail in the next few days.”
The deadline for submitting the letter of intent to the IOC is due on Saturday (March 31).
Both City Councils in Graz and Schladming recently decided to pursue a joint Olympic bid.
Talks are now expected between different levels of Government over details, including the costs of mounting a bid and budget for staging the Games.
Leaders from the ÖOC are also set to meet with the Mayors of Graz and Schladming.
This is Austria’s second bid for the 2026 Winter Games after a failed referendum last October ended Innsbruck’s ambition to host the Olympics for a third time.
Siom in Switzerland, Sapporo in Japan, Calgary in Canada, Milan in Italy and Stockholm are other potential bidders for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Those who submit have the next six months to provide more details of their bids before IOC Session in Buenos Aires in October is due to propose official candidates.