POSTED: April 27th 2009

2018: Koreans yes, Swiss No

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

SEOUL/GENEVA: South Korea is backing PyeongChang as host for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games but Switzerland has ruled out a challenge for the foreseeable future.

PyeongChang was unsuccessful with bids for 2010 and 2014 but has been given the green light to go ahead yet again by the Korean Olympic Committee, meeting in Seoul.

Jin-sun Kim, the Gangwon provincial governor who leads PyeongChang's bid, said: “Bringing the Winter Games here is a long-standing dream. We narrowly missed out two previous attempts but we will do everything in our power for the honor of being the official 2018 host.

"Our compact competition venues - including ski jumping and biathlon - are already in place. In addition, we have kept our promise to the Olympic movement by undertaking the ‘Dream Program’ every year and hosting other winter sporting events.”

France has put forward Annecy and Germany is promoting Munich. However neighbouring Switzerland is passing.

Jorg Schild, president of the Swiss Olympic Committee, confirmed: “It’s just not possible for us. We would need to be in a position to submit an official dossier to the IOC next October and seven months is not enough time to put such a project together.”

Schild was even vague about Swiss prospects of bidding for 2022. He added: “The conditions do not make it simple for Switzerland. We would need the secure support of the Swiss public, the various sports federations and the necessary authorities. It would be essential for the federal council to support the project right from the start.

"In Switzerland you need public approval to spend even one franc and you know how our people think . . . it was very clear for football’s European Championship.”

Switzerland co-hosted Euro 2008 with Austria but plans for a proposed new stadium in Zurich had to be scrapped after a ‘No’ vote in a local referendum.

Keywords · IOC · 2018 Winter Games · IOC · Korean Olympic Committee · Swiss Olympic Committee · Schild

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