The Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics will have one less competitor to worry about when the winner is announced in Prague next July 2.
The bid from the Switzerland capital Bern withdrew its Olympic bid on Friday after voters there refused to finance a share of the Games.
The Swiss bid was one of the four finalists picked by the International Olympic Committee in late August, along with Vancouver-Whistler, Salzburg, Austria and Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The bids from Canada and Austria are considered the front-runners.
In a referendum last Sunday, 78 per cent of voters in the canton (state) of Bern were against a loan of 7.5 million Swiss francs ($7.9 million Cdn) to co-finance the national bid.
According to a survey earlier this year, two-thirds of people were in favour of the bid, but voters became disillusioned when the government was forced to bail out of this year's $1.4-billion Cdn Swiss National Exhibition.
Switzerland has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, at St. Moritz in 1928 and again in 1948.
The 2010 Bern bid had a proposed budget of $990 million Cdn, including $123 million Cdn in long-term sports facilities and would have spanned the border between French and German-speaking Switzerland, with events also in St. Moritz.
Switzerland has lost three bids for the Games since 1969. This time around, the Bern bid was expected to challenge Vancouver-Whistler and Salzberg because of close calls in the past, including Swiss town Sion being runner-up to Turin, Italy for the 2006 Games.
However, the IOC noted serious problems with Bern's bid, saying the proposal "does not best respond to the needs of the athletes and could create significant organizational difficulties."
With files from Canadian Press and Associated Press