Stockholm’s Mayor Anna König Jerlmyr will be part of Sweden’s Olympic bid delegation in Lausanne on June 24 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elects a host city for the 2026 Winter Games. She will be joined by Opposition Vice Mayor Karin Wanngård as the bid delivers an important technical briefing and final presentation to more than 90 voting IOC members directly ahead of the vote.
The Stockholm city government has so far refused to provide financial funding or guarantees to the Olympic bid after a complex coalition government was formed last year on the basis that it would not burden taxpayers to organize a Games. Instead, the regional bid has been billed as a joint project with the ski resort town of Åre that will underwrite the host city contract. Other funding and guarantees will come from private sources and various insurances and contingency plans, if Stockholm is awarded the Games.
During an IOC Evaluation Commission visit in March, König Jerlmyr suggested that the Capital would be willing to provide city services for the Games and would lease the required venues to the organizing committee at a reasonable cost.
But the Mayor insists that her city fully supports the project.
“If Stockholm Åre 2026 is successful, we will have tremendous opportunities to showcase Sweden’s innovative culture of sustainability,” the Mayor said this week at a Chamber of Commerce seminar focused on Sweden’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
“Nothing brings the world together like the Olympics, and ‘inclusivity’ is also a hallmark of Swedish culture.
“So in that sense, we really believe we have unique and shared values with the Olympics,” she added.
Political representatives say they are standing united behind the bid, with the Green Party also emphasizing the benefits of the plans.
Swedish Green Party spokesperson and former leader, Maria Wetterstrand said ”Stockholm Åre 2026 strives to make a positive impact on all 17 global sustainability goals.”
“It is very interesting if you can lead in this area, prove that it is actually possible to approach this in a serious way and show that you have made a positive impact,” Wetterstrand said.
König Jerlmyr agreed explaining “Olympic Agenda 2020 (reforms) presents a great opportunity for us all, especially when it comes to sustainability.“
“It’s a message of strength, for the Olympics and for Stockholm given our global leadership in this important area.”
“When it comes to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, I am convinced that Stockholm Åre 2026 will host in a way that is transformative for future Winter Games,” Wanngård said at the seminar.
“Virtually all of the needed venues for the Games are already in place. Our Games Concept, including Åre and Falun, is both sustainable and prudent.
“And, Stockholm Åre 2026 will be an historic Winter Games given our cooperation with our Latvian neighbours.
“I will be in Lausanne supporting our bid, and I am hopeful we get the chance to welcome the world to our home in 2026.”
Stockholm Åre need only defeat a single Italian rival – the Milan Cortina joint bid that will be underwritten by regional governments. Five of seven applicants exited the race early and two of them – Sion in Switzerland and Calgary in Canada – were defeated by public referendums.
The remaining Swedish delegates who will attend the important meeting and vote in Lausanne have yet to be confirmed.
In the past, large bid delegations have included top Olympians and athletes, senior government officials, celebrities and royalty – but it isn’t clear whether the two bids in the running for 2026 will bring the same caliber of influencers who have been previously leveraged to lock in last-minute votes. In the spirit of IOC reforms to reduce the cost of bidding, the candidates have so far kept their campaigning relatively low key.
During the same meeting in Lausanne, the IOC membership will be asked to approve new changes to the site selection process that have been proposed by a special working group. A new framework could significantly change the way campaigning and voting for Olympic host cities will take place in the future.