By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

St_MoritzNovember 23 - Annecy and Munich's campaigns to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics have suffered a setback after Switzerland confirmed that it is planning to launch a bid for the 2022 Games.

Switzerland has not hosted the Olympics since St Moritz in 1948 but are set to bid if Pyeongchang in South Korea are awarded the 2018 Games.

Switzerland has five International Olympic Committee (IOC) members, more than any other country, while up to a further six are based there.

With the prospect of a bid from the country, IOC members with Swiss connections are unlikely to vote for the 2018 Olympics being awarded to one of the European candidates.

It is an added complication for Annecy and Munich, who were already facing the prospect of not being supported by the four Italian IOC members, who are keen for Rome's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics to be successful and do not want that jeopardised by the 2018 Games being held in Europe.

It is also unlikely that the Spanish IOC members will back a European country for 2018 because they also have ambitions to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

A Swiss bid could have huge sentimental attraction to the IOC, whose headquarters are in Lausanne.

Switzerland are also one of the most successful countries in the history of the Winter Olympics, having a total of 127 medals, including 44 gold, 18 of them in Alpine skiing.

These included two at the Vancouver Olympics earlier this year, including Carlo Janka (pictured), who won the giant slalom.


Swiss Olympic, an umbrella organisation of Swiss sports groups, has been set-up to investigate whether they should bid.

Switzerland has put forward unsuccessful bids by the Valais area of the country in 1976, 2002 and 2006.

But there is an appetite for a fresh bid following the successful co-hosting of football's Euro 2008 with Austria.

The decision was made in a meeting held in Ittigen, a small town near the capital city Bern.

Representatives from major Swiss sports associations casted their votes, and the result was overwhelming, with 385 favors, two abstentions and none opposition.

"The representatives of Swiss sport have made it clear today that they are interested in the Olympic Winter Games in our country," said Jorg Schild, President of the Swiss Olympic Committee.

It is understood that the group is looking as a potential host at the canton of Graubünden,which includes St Moritz, which also hosted the Olympics in 1928, the only other occasion they have been held in Switzerland.

The canton also has the resort of Davos that is famous for its annual World Economic Forum that attracts businessmen and world leaders.

A potential obstacle to a successful bid, though, would be environmental concerns, with fears that the infrastructure upgrades that would be required to host the Games would ruin the surrounding countryside. 

The IOC are due to award the 2018 Games at its annual Session in Durban on July 6, 2011.

A decision on the 2022 Games is due to take place in 2015.

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