Stockholm–Åre 2026 Winter Olympic bid fast facts

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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.

MORE: How to watch 2026 Winter Olympic host vote

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)

Venues
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

Ceremonies
Opening Ceremony — Stockholm’s Friends Arena (retractable roof)
Closing Ceremony — multiple locations across the four venue clusters

Slogan
“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.”

MORE: IOC proposes Olympic ‘host’ can be multiple countries

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Chicago Marathon features Emily Sisson’s return, Conner Mantz’s debut, live on Peacock

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At Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, Emily Sisson makes her return, nearly three years after Olympic Trials disappointment. Conner Mantz makes one of the most anticipated U.S. men’s debuts in 26.2-mile racing.

It is not the norm, but an American will be one of the spotlight runners in both the men’s and women’s elite races at a major marathon. Peacock airs live coverage at 8 a.m. ET.

Sisson, 30, starts her first mass marathon since dropping out of the Olympic Trials on Feb. 29, 2020, her legs “destroyed” on the hilly Atlanta course where she started as arguably the favorite. She ran the virtual New York City Marathon later in 2020, but that was solo (and not in New York City). Her 2:38:00 isn’t recorded in her official results on her World Athletics bio.

Since, Sisson won the Olympic Trials 10,000m on the track and was the top American in Tokyo in 10th place. She moved back to the roads, winning national titles at 15km and the half marathon and breaking the American record in the latter.

Sisson vaulted into the elite group of U.S. female marathoners in 2019, when she clocked the second-fastest debut marathon in American history, a 2:23:08 on a windy day in London, where the early pace was slow.

At the time, it was the 12th-best U.S. performance all-time. In the last two years, Keira D’Amato, 37, and Sara Hall, 39, combined to run seven faster marathons. At Chicago, a flat course that produced a world record three years ago, Sisson can answer them and perhaps get close to D’Amato’s American record 2:19:12.

“I’m hoping sub-2:20,” coach Ray Treacy said, according to LetsRun.com. “With the [super] shoes and the training behind her, I would think that’s [worth] at least three minutes.”

It is less likely that Sisson can challenge for the win on Sunday given the presence of Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 World champion and defending champion in the Windy City. The 28-year-old mom is the fifth-fastest woman in history with a personal best of 2:17:08. And Ethiopian Ruti Aga, a podium finisher in Berlin, New York City and Tokyo with a best time of 2:18:34, though she has one marathon finish since the pandemic (a seventh place).

Like Sisson, Mantz has shown strong recent road racing form. The American men’s debut marathon record of 2:07:56 (Leonard Korir) is in play. If he can break that, Mantz will be among the five fastest U.S. marathoners in history.

Rarely has a U.S. male distance runner as accomplished as Mantz moved up to the marathon at such a young age (25). At BYU, he won NCAA cross-country titles in 2020 and 2021 and placed fifth in the Olympic Trials 10,000m, then turned pro and won the U.S. Half Marathon Championships last December.

“If everything goes as planned, I think sub-2:08 is realistic,” Mantz said in a Citius Mag video interview last month. “If everything goes perfect on the day, I think a sub-2:07, that’s a big stretch goal.”

The men’s field doesn’t have the singular star power of Chepngetich, but a large group of East Africans with personal bests around 2:05. The most notable: defending champion Seifu Tura of Ethiopia and 2021 Boston Marathon winner Benson Kipruto of Kenya.

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Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

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Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

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