Reporting From Lausanne, Switzerland – Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria arrived in Lausanne Sunday with her husband Prince Daniel, both hoping to deliver a message to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members that underlines Sweden’s commitment to delivering exactly what the IOC wants for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Princess Victoria is part of a high-level Stockholm Åre 2026 Olympic bid delegation arriving for Monday’s IOC vote that will determine whether Sweden, or a rival Italian bid from Milan-Cortina, will host the 2026 Games. She joins Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and several Olympic Champions.
Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel spoke with GamesBids.com Sunday, emphasizing their unified passion for the Games, even finishing each others sentences.
“This is very exciting times and now having the chance to talk to someone, really trying to push for Sweden and talk about what we find so important,” Princess Victoria said.
“And the reasons why we think this is a wonderful idea is of course everything from us believing that we would actually be able to deliver the kind of Games [the IOC] have asked for in the first place, thinking about Agenda 2020 and talking about an economic and social and even environmentally sustainable Games.
“I really believe in that and hopefully they believe that we can deliver it.”
Princess Victoria is the most popular public figure in Sweden and is active in supporting and raising funds for Paralympic sports,.
“It would mean a lot but to me,” she said.
“First of all sports is a fantastic way of meeting people and sharing joy and I think that’s the essence that I felt going to visit a couple of Paralympics and also Olympic Games,
“It is the fun and the joy, of course the competitiveness, that’s the very fun and joy that everyone shares in terms of sports and having had the opportunity to have experienced it first-hand, it’s a marvelous, it’s a very strong feeling.”
Prince Daniel interjected “…and also to see what it means for a country to have the Olympics,” as the Princess nodded.
She added “that’s why we believe in it to give our countries – of course short term – but long term.”
“I think this is something we can really unite, that could come together and be proud of, work hard for and also be something that’s inspiring.”
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) June 23, 2019
Prince Daniel was a personal trainer and gym owner prior to his marriage to the Princess and sees the Olympics as a way to inspire youth to be more physically active.
He said “The next generation for physical movement, sport, and more physical activities, I think [the Games] are a perfect example of something that really can inspire.”
Addressing questions about tepid support and enthusiasm surrounding the bid at home, Princess Victoria said “I think we are starting a very bit afraid of taking everything out in advance. I think that when it was sort of feeling real that this last week ‘this is actually coming up’ I think people dare to feel enthusiastic and what this could actually mean and this could actually be real.”
The Prince weighed-in explaining “few people are negative. Then many are positive or neutral. I think the neutral ones we will realize when we get it then we start working towards it.”
“We are a calm people, you know,” the Prince added as Princess Victoria laughed, “they are enthusiastic when they are at the event but before we are Nordics, it’s cold up there!”
But the Royals continued to plead their case, the Princess explained “I think [the support] is changing as we speak and there are more [reports] in the media and I think people in general are talking more about it and also being more curious about how it would be and what would this actually mean to us.
Prince Daniel added “and it’s so much also in line with the Agenda 2020, it’s so much in line with Sweden and what we have been working for, for decades.”
He continued as the Princess nodded along “I mean environment, equality, I mean all those things – we are there already. Not all the way of course, no one is but I think – gender equality, very democratic country, no corruption – I mean, I think Sweden, we’re in line with what they ask for…”
Eager to interject the Princess added “…what they ask for, exactly.”
“They also think that when you ask about the [public] reluctance, it also has to do with the history of us having tried to get the Olympic Games, so many times, and then kind of [snapping], not being able to. So I think that is kind of in the background as well.”
Stockholm launched a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics before unfavourable politics led to its withdrawal. The Capital bid for the 2004 Games, landing fourth in a five-city ballot won by Athens. Previous failed Winter Games bids included Ostersund in 2002, 1998 and 1994; Falun in 1992 and 1988; and Gothenburg in 1984. Sweden placed second three times.
Stockholm hosted the Summer Games in 1912.
Prince Daniel said sheepishly “We’re afraid of being disappointed, again.”
Princess Victoria added, laughing “I think so.”
About 85 members will be eligible to vote on Monday with a single electronic ballot where a simple majority elects the winner.
Members will take in technical and final presentations before casting their ballots in what is expected to be a close contest.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.