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Swiss vote against Olympics candidacy for St-Moritz

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Residents of the St-Moritz region of eastern Switzerland voted Sunday against allowing their resort stand as a candidate to host the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Inhabitants of St-Moritz itself and neighbouring Davos -- another chic resort town, and the rest of the canton of Graubunden where they are located were called to the polls to vote on whether to approve the millions of Swiss francs (euros/dollars) needed to cover the candidacy.

In St-Moritz and Davos, the two municipalities directly involved in the candidacy bid, the residents came out in favour, with the "yes" garnering 61 and 56.2 percent of the votes respectively.

But the rest of the canton did not agree, and in the end, 52.66 percent rejected the bid.

This is not the first time that a popular vote forces a Swiss region to give up its ambitions to host the Olympics: the population of Bern massively rejected its planned candidacy to host the 2010 games.

Switzerland, which is home to the International Olympic Committee, has only hosted the games twice: in 1928 and 1948, also at St-Moritz.

The Alpine country meanwhile suffered failed candidacies with Sion, in the canton of Valais, which aimed to host the 2002 and later the 2006 games.

After three winter Olympics in big cities -- Vancouver in 2010, Sochi in 2014 and Pyeongchang in 2018, St-Moritz had aimed to seduce the Olympic Committee with what it saw as a return to the source of winter sports, deep in mountain territory.

Several cities have voiced their interest in hosting the 2022 games, including Oslo, Barcelona and Munich, as well as Krakow in Poland in cooperation with neighbouring Slovakia.

The IOC will pick the host city for the games in early August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

apo-stp/nl/cw

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130303/swiss-vote-against-olympics-candidacy-st-moritz