Switzerland now focuses on the 2038 Winter Games

Following the unanimous support of Swiss sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that it is also convinced of the potential of the Swiss Olympic project. The IOC has included Switzerland in a "privileged dialogue" for the organisation of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2038.

The IOC Executive Board decided in Paris to include the "Switzerland 203x" Olympic project in a "privileged dialogue" for the 2038 Games. The IOC is convinced by the Swiss project but believes there is still room for improvement in areas such as sports venue planning and financing. 

The "privileged dialogue" status means that Switzerland has until the end of 2027 to further develop the issues discussed and enter into the "targeted dialogue" for the 2038 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, provided both parties feel ready. 

If the project goes ahead and Switzerland is awarded the Games in 2038, it will be the third time that the International Olympic Committee has chosen Switzerland to host the Games, following the 1928 and 1948 editions. In other words, the 2038 event would mark the return of the white party to Swiss soil after 90 years. 

Following last Friday's unanimous vote by the Sports Parliament to continue with the Olympic project, today's decision by the IOC is a further step towards the staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the whole of Switzerland - even if the project was originally focused on the years 2030 or 2034.

Swiss Olympic and the Swiss winter sports federations are confident following the IOC's decision. "We had set our sights on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2030 or 2034, but in sport you have to be flexible. We now have the opportunity to further develop our project together and are convinced that our framework conditions, our extensive experience and our reliability make us an excellent partner for the IOC - also for 2038 - to successfully and efficiently continue the current process towards the next generation of Games," said Jürg Stahl, President of Swiss Olympic, adding that the support of the population, politics, and the economy will also be decisive in this phase. 

Jürg Stahl is the President of Swiss Olympic. TWITTER
Jürg Stahl is the President of Swiss Olympic. TWITTER

The 'Switzerland 203x' concept provides for decentralised Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in existing venues throughout the country, with the lowest possible consumption of resources. "We are a great winter sports nation and we appreciate the IOC's willingness to continue discussing our unique Olympic project in a privileged dialogue. We are ready to optimise our project in cooperation with all interested stakeholders," explains Ruth Wipfli Steinegger, Co-President of the 'Switzerland 203x' association. 

"The door is now open for Switzerland to host the Games in 2038. The Olympic and Paralympic Games with Switzerland as the host country would be a great boost for Swiss sport as a whole, but also for our country's society," he stated. 

Urs Lehmann, President of Swiss Ski and representative of the winter sports federations within the "Switzerland 203x" association, is looking forward to the process ahead: "The 2038 Winter Olympics in Switzerland can give us wings in our ongoing efforts to keep winter sports fit for the future as a national cultural asset, as part of the Swiss DNA. I am convinced that Swiss sport as a whole would benefit from this. We now have in our hands the opportunity to turn our vision into reality and to make the 2038 Olympic Winter Games not only an unforgettable sporting event but also a long-term stimulus programme for Switzerland and Swiss sport."

Urs Lehmann, President of Swiss Ski. © Getty Images
Urs Lehmann, President of Swiss Ski. © Getty Images

Thomas Rechberger, CEO of the 'Switzerland 203x' association, and his team are now focusing on the real goal: "2038 is a long way off, but it gives us a perspective for our project. Through dialogue with the IOC, we will deepen our understanding of how best to adapt the 2038 Olympic Games to the realities of Switzerland. It is clear to us that the Olympic Games in Switzerland must be adapted to our country." 

"So far, we have focused on the organisation of the 2030 Olympic Games, but now we need to change our perspective and analyse the new situation. We now have more time to work with the Confederation, the cantons, the municipalities and other social and economic players to develop concrete proposals on key issues such as legacy, sustainability, venues, transport, finances and security, and to continue the dialogue with the population", he added