Swedish Olympic Committee Denies Stockholm 2026 Winter Games Bid Is Over

The Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) Wednesday said Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanngard and her Social Democrat Party’s decision to end the Capital’s bid to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games “is premature and probably based on unclear facts.”

Stockholm investigating possible 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid (Wikipedia Photo)

Stockholm investigating possible 2026 Olympic Winter Games bid (Wikipedia Photo)

In a statement issued after Wanngard blamed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for releasing its financial contribution details too late in the campaign, and further lack of political will as the reason for ending the Stockholm bid, the SOK claims that hosting the Games in 2026 remains “possible and desirable.”

“SOK’s chairman Hans Vestberg will tomorrow take contact with the party groups in the Stockholm City Hall to immediately bring about a meeting to find a solution on how to proceed in the process,” the statement said.

“International Olympic Committee (IOC) will in the coming months to specify how the application process for the Winter Games will look like. The timetable has been fixed since last year.”

SOK Chair Hans Vestberg said “I have had meetings with IOC President Thomas Bach, and we feel very well informed about the application process looks like.

“SOK prefer that Stockholm continues the ongoing process and part of the Social Democrats view that it commenced investigation should continue.

“It is already clear that the IOC will provide financial support for a future host city of a unique high level.”

Wanngard claimed that with details about the IOC contribution not expected until November, there would be little time to conduct the proper analysis in order to confirm a bid before the applications are due next spring.

Richard Brisius has been named President of Stockholm 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid (SOK Photo)

Richard Brisius was named President of Stockholm 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Bid (SOK Photo)

A January feasibility report sent a positive message about a bid and with last week’s appointment of Richard Brisius as President of the campaign, it was said work would begin immediately.

Government officials now say they may instead focus on a 2030 Games bid.

Stockholm withdrew a bid for the 2022 Games after its formal application when political support fizzled amid cost concerns.  The city last hosted the 1912 Summer Olympic Games and has since bid for the 1952 and 2004 editions, failing on both tries. Including Stockholm’s 2022 campaign, Sweden has made a number of runs at the Winter Games but failed in attempts by Ostersund in 1994, 1998 and 2002; by Falun for 1992 and Gothenburg in 1984.

The IOC is expected the name the 2026 Winter Games host in 2019.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil