A look at the Stockholm–Åre 2026 Winter Olympic bid ahead of the IOC’s vote on Monday to choose the host city …
By the stats, Sweden is a very deserving Winter Olympic host candidate. It owns the most Winter Games gold medals (61, according to Olympic historians) of any nation yet to host a Winter Olympics and the second-most total medals of nations yet to host (165; Finland has 173.)
It held Summer Games competition twice, in 1912 as the outright host and in 1956 (equestrian events only). The latter marked the first time an Olympic sport was held wholly outside the host nation. Quarantine laws in Australia forced equestrian to be moved (to Stockholm, in this case).
This Swedish bid calls for a Winter Olympics to be shared between two nations for the first time. Sliding sports would be in Sigulda, Latvia, the nearest track for bobsled, skeleton and luge. The construction of sliding tracks is among the costliest venues for any Winter Games, leading the Swedish bid to look elsewhere.
Four years ago, it was reported that the PyeongChang Olympic sliding events could be held at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games venue rather than completing a new track in South Korea, but that ultimately did not happen.
Stockholm was among four cities that dropped 2022 Olympic bids for various reasons (Sweden’s was a lack of political and financial support). The bid was revived for 2026, declared dead by Swedish politicians in April 2018, but kept alive by the Swedish Olympic Committee. In January, the bid was renamed to add the ski resort of Åre, which just hosted the world Alpine skiing championships.
Sweden hopes to reverse its Winter Olympic bidding luck. It lost six straight elections — 1984 (Göteborg), 1988 (Falun), 1992 (Falun), 1994 (Östersund), 1998 (Östersund) and 2002 (Östersund). Stockholm would join Beijing as the only cities to host Summer and Winter Games.
Its contingent in Lausanne for the bid presentation includes Olympic gold medalists Peter Forsberg (hockey) and Frida Hansdotter (Alpine skiing).
More on the Stockholm-Åre bid:
Proposed Dates: Feb. 6-22 (Olympics), March 6-15 (Paralympics)
Stockholm — hockey, curling, speed skating, figure skating, short track, cross-country skiing, biathlon, Alpine team event, big air skiing, aerials
*Big air and aerials are slated for Stockholm’s 1912 Olympic Stadium
Åre (380 miles northwest of Stockholm) — Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboarding
Sigulda, Latvia (350 miles southeast of Stockholm, across the Baltic Sea) — bobsled, luge, skeleton
Falun (130 miles northwest of Stockholm) — Nordic combined, ski jumping
Opening Ceremony — Stockholm’s Friends Arena (retractable roof)
Closing Ceremony — multiple locations across the four venue clusters
“Made in Sweden”
IOC Evaluation Group Report
“A modern global capital with a historic city center, Stockholm proposes venues in the heart of the city that would elevate and energize the Games experience. Sweden has the hosting experience, love for winter sports and established World Cup venues necessary for delivering the Games. In line with Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm, Stockholm has developed a Games concept that addresses the city’s future needs and aims to improve the lives of all its citizens.”
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