Regions In Sweden Offer Joint Support For Stockholm Åre 2026 Olympic Bid

A letter published Monday in local newspapers across the nation confirmed unified support by the three regions vying to host Sweden’s first-ever Olympic Winter Games.

Stockholm, Sweden is bidding to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (SOK Photo)

Stockholm and Are Sweden are bidding to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (SOK Photo)

The letter was co-signed by Regional Executive Council Chairs Irene Svenonius, Mats Gärd and Ulf Berg representing Stockholm, Jämtland Härjedalen and Dalarna – the three regions that have proposed venues to host the 2026 Games.

Sweden’s Stockholm Åre 2026 Olympic bid is answering its only challenger, Milan Cortina in Italy, that has also demonstrated strong regional support for its project.  The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will elect the winning host city at its meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 24.

“An Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sweden would be delivered in a uniquely sustainable way – in terms of the environment, but also in terms of the economy and wider society,” the letter, published by Avesta Tidning reads.

“The focus around sustainability for 2026 is extremely good for Sweden, a nation leading in this area globally, thanks to long-standing systematic work on sustainable development.”

The three regions have responsibility for transportation and public health, and their keen involvement is key to the organization of the Games.

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“We get the opportunity to show the breadth and beauty of our magnificent country – and to increase awareness and interest in Sweden,” the letter continued.

“Properly managed, an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sweden can make an impact long after 2026 and open up new markets and opportunities for Swedish companies and businesses.”

The regions have guaranteed the provision of essential service to the Games should the Stockholm Åre 2026 prevail later this month.

The Åre ski resort town in Jämtland Härjedalen has experience hosting world championships for Alpine skiing and would host the same, along with snowboarding, in 2026.  Falun in Dalarna will host ski jumping and Nordic combined events and 73 percent of the sports including ice hockey, figure skating and speed skating will be staged in Stockholm.

Bobsleigh, luge and skeleton races will be contested at an existing track in Segulda, Latvia.

Organizers claim strong support from all levels of government, including the guarantee of services at the national level from both Sweden and Latvia.

The municipal governments in Stockholm and Åre will provide city services for the Games, and the Stockholm government will rent the necessary venues to the organizing committee.

Skier at Stockholm Olympic Stadium, the oldest currently in-use Olympic stadium, March 13, 2019 (GamesBids Photo)

Organizers say that the Games will be privately funded and will be carried out at no additional cost to taxpayers.

The bid had struggled for months, trying to reach a deal with the national government to provide written support for the bid and to guarantee the security budget.  A January deadline was missed due to the nation’s hung Parliament after close elections last year – but the extended April deadline was met.

In an evaluation report published by the IOC last month, concerns were raised about the bid’s budget and possible miscalculations and overly optimistic revenue estimates that could result in a shortfall.  The IOC also questioned the low eight percent contingency built into the budget, and commented that more work needs to be done to clarify shortfall guarantees by private insurers.

Bid officials have promised to respond ahead of the election.

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