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Afp

Austrian ski stations eye twin 2026 Olympics bid

By AFP
media Schladming, Austria, pictured in 2013, plans to bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics with the resort of Graz AFP/File

Austrian ski resorts Graz and Schladming are planning a twin bid to stage the 2026 Winter Olympics, their two mayors announced on Tuesday.

Austria has only hosted the Winter Games twice, at Innsbruck in 1964 and 1976.

Innsbruck had been intending a bid of its own only to withdraw its interest after a negative referendum result.

The official race to succeed 2018 hosts Pyeongchang, and Beijing in 2022 begins in March when would be candidates file "letters of intention" to the International Olympic Committee.

Venues then chosen to make an official bid will be announced in the autumn with the winner revealed in September 2019.

The IOC has said it favours a return in 2026 to "a classic ski station" after Scohi in 2014, followed by next month's Games in South Korea and China in 2022.

Schladming, host of Tuesday night's World Cup slalom, staged the 2013 world ski championships.

Four other resorts have expressed interest in holding the 2026 Olympics - Sion in Switzerland, Stockholm, Calgary in Canada and Japan's Sapporo.

Last week the IOC pledged to boost funding for the 2026 Winter Olympics as it seeks it encourage more cities to enter bids.

An ever-shrinking pool of cities willing to take on the multi-billion dollar cost of staging the Games saw Beijing beat only one rival bidder, Almaty.

 
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