Officials in Telemark have launched a bid for the Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Local officials in Telemark have officially launched plans for the Norwegian county to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

An announcement by the Sport Councils of the cities Tinn and Notoden, confirmed the attempt,

"Telemark has a proud cultural legacy and skiing tradition and is a famous name in the world of skiing," Jonny Pettersen, head of the Notodden Sports Council, said, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

"We want to bring the Winter Olympics back to its roots and to the people.

"We will focus on sustainable development in relation to UN climate targets and new technology that does not damage the environment."

Oslo’s controversial bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics collapsed in 2014 as the Games were eventually awarded to Beijing.

The Norwegian capital won a referendum to bid but withdrew following a rising tide of public and political opposition after the poll. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) blamed Oslo 2022 for the "missed opportunity", with its Executive Director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi criticising the bid's leaders for failing to properly brief politicians.

It has been claimed Telemark’s potential bid would primarily take place around Notodden and the town of Rjukan.

Officials have reportedly claimed, though, that the bid could be spread across the region, with the location of potential venues having yet to be decided.

The neighbouring counties Buskerud and Vestfold, could potentially be involved in a potential bid.

A Norwegian bid is likely to depend on Government support being forthcoming ©Getty Images
A Norwegian bid is likely to depend on Government support being forthcoming ©Getty Images

Pettersen admitted the bid would be dependent on state support, although he was hopeful private investment could be forthcoming.

He claimed existing facilities would be used, with the highlight of the proposed bid likely to be a downhill alpine skiing race at Gaustatoppen.

Gaustatoppen is the highest mountain in the county, with a cable car having been installed in recent years.

Telemark is also famed for the skiing technique, which combines Alpine and Nordic skiing, with the name of the style coming from the county.

A bid from Sion also moved a step closer last month as the Swiss Government agreed to back it, although its fate is still likely to be decided by a referendum.

Sapporo may also submit a candidacy after Dubi claimed the fact that the Japanese city would be the third consecutive Asian host of the Winter Olympics if they were to be successful would not count against them.

Calgary in Canada and Sweden's capital Stockholm are among other possible bidders.

A bid by the Austrian city Innsbruck collapsed last month following a referendum.

A United States bid could also still be possible.