March 07, 2017

BERN, Switzerland (AP) Swiss Olympic officials will support Sion's bid to host the 2026 Winter Games.

Switzerland's Olympic committee says its executive board agreed to back Sion's project with eight million Swiss francs ($7.9 million), amounting to one-third of an international bid budget.

The decision must be verified at an April 11 meeting of Swiss sports federations.

Sion was the only option after voters in Graubuenden region last month rejected a possible bid by St. Moritz and Davos.

A Swiss Olympic task force suggests hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics could have a ''significant economic impact'' of up to 2.5 billion Swiss francs ($2.47 billion).

The IOC should launch the 2026 contest this year and choose a host in 2019.

Other potential bidders are Innsbruck, Austria and Calgary, Canada.

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