Most Swiss back Winter Games bid: poll

A majority of Swiss support a proposed bid by the canton of Graubünden to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, according to a new poll.

Most Swiss back Winter Games bid: poll
Skiing at St. Moritz (Photo:Switzerland Tourism)

An Isopublic survey, commissioned by the SonntagsBlick newspaper, showed 54.6 percent in favour of the candidacy for the Games envisioned for St. Moritz and Davos.

The poll of 1,033 Swiss residents was conducted between October 17th and 20th.

Those backing the games appear to be unfazed by the 2.8-billion-franc cost ($3 billion) of staging the sporting event as estimated by a Graubünden organizing association.

The federal government last month agreed to contribute 30 million francs for the bid.

The cabinet is also committed to covering at least one billion francs of the costs, while backers anticipate 1.5 billion francs in revenues.

However, infrastructure costs of 1.7 billion francs, coupled with security expenses bring the potential total bill to around 4.5 billion francs.

The Isopublic survey showed strong support for the Olympic candidacy from young people, with three-quarters of those under the age of 35 saying they favoured the project.

Results showed backing from around 60 percent of residents in the Alpine areas of Graubünden and Valais and the foothills of the Alps.

Voters in Graubünden are set to decide whether to approve the bid in a referendum set for March 3rd 2013.

Sports Minister Ueli Maurer has said the Games offer a “great opportunity for Switzerland”.

The country has not hosted the Winter Olympics since 1948, when the Games were held in St. Moritz.

The mountain resort also hosted the Games in 1928.

But bids by Switzerland to stage the 1976, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics (all in the canton of Valais) were unsuccessful.

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Whisky sold for $10,000 a shot at Swiss bar proven to be fake

A shot of Macallan whisky purportedly made in 1878 that a Chinese man paid $10,000 for at a Swiss hotel was actually distilled between 1970 and 1972.

Whisky sold for $10,000 a shot at Swiss bar proven to be fake
The whisky in question. Photo: Hotel Waldhaus am See/AFP

The forgery was discovered after Scottish whisky experts travelled to Switzerland to conduct tests, 20 Minuten reported.

It finally lays to rest the speculation over the malt’s authenticity that arose when the story broke in August.

It began when a young Chinese customer entered the Devil's Place Whisky Bar at the luxury Waldhaus Hotel in St Moritz, northeastern Switzerland, and expressed particular interest in rare Macallans.

The bar, which has a whisky collection mentioned in the Guinness Book ofWorld Records, had 47 options, ranging from seven francs to 10,000 francs per glass.

The customer chose the bottle marked as an 1878 vintage, which went for 9,999 francs ($10,000) for a two-centilitre measure.

According to the online news site, specialists at Rare Whisky 101, who regularly serve as consultants at whisky auctions, established that the bottle's label was a fake.

They said carbon dating had shown that the malt had actually been distilled between 1970 and 1972.

After discovering the forgery, the proprietor of the Waldhaus, Sandro Bernasconi, travelled to Beijing to apologize to the customer and refund him, the paper said.

“It is customary in China to admit your faults,” 20 Minuten quoted him as saying.

Bernasconi said it was also important to show that “the Swiss are honest people and do not engage in scams”.

There were obviously no hard feelings, as the two men then went out for dinner and had a discussion about whiskies, the website said.

The Chinese man asked to see the results and said he appreciated Bernasconi’s honesty.

The site published a photo of the two men holding a symbolic voucher valued at 9,999 Swiss francs, dated October 2017.

Bernasconi said the bottle with the fake label was bought 25 years ago by his father who previously ran the hotel.

“This whole time, we never doubted that the bottle was an original,” Bernasconi told 20 Minuten.