10/16/2017 3:13:11 PM

Austria's vote against bid disappoints IOC


Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was disappointed the Austrian state of Tyrol voted against Innsbruck's bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics, but will continue its search for a host city.

Preliminary results of a referendum showed on Sunday that 53.35 percent of Tyrol residents opposed the bid.

An IOC spokesman said it would have liked to continue its preliminary talks with Innsbruck, which is the state capital of Tyrol.

"The IOC shares the disappointment for the Austrian Olympic Committee, the many supporting athletes and the promoters of the project who worked on it with so much energy and committment," the spokesman said.

Opponents in Tyrol were worried about the high financial cost of hosting the Winter Games, the third in Innsbruck after 1964 and 1976, as well as the environmental impact.

Fresh talks with interested cities from America, Asia and Europe will now go ahead.

"We are certain that an excellent host city for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 will emerge from this process," the spokesman said. "The exploratory talks will also allow the IOC to better communicate about the benefits of the new candidature process for host cities, highlight our reforms that make it possible to have a sustainable, feasible and cost-effective Olympic Winter Games."

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