Olympics / Winter Olympics

Political vacuum risks Stockholm's 2026 Winter Olympics bid

AFP-JIJI

Sweden’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics could be torpedoed by the country’s lack of a government more than four months after general elections and Stockholm’s refusal to back the campaign.

Calgary’s withdrawal from the bidding process in November, after its residents rejected plans to host the Games, has left just Stockholm and Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy as contenders. Sapporo withdrew its bid in September, announcing plans to focus on a 2030 bid.

Their final proposals must be submitted to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne by Friday.

If its bid were to win, this would be Sweden’s first time hosting the Winter Games. It welcomed the Summer Olympic Games in 1912.

The competitions would take place in Stockholm, as well as the central-western town of Are for downhill skiing and the central town of Falun for the Nordic combined and ski jumping.

Swedish organizers plan to hold the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events in Sigulda, in Latvia.

They also dream of seeing Stockholm’s Olympic stadium — located in the heart of the city and the oldest Olympic arena still in use, according to the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) — vibrate to the rhythms of the snowboard events.

The nearby Friends Arena has been suggested for the opening ceremony.

The SOK has signed on 39 sporting “ambassadors” who support the bid, including three-time Olympic cross-country skiing medallist Charlotte Kalla and Olympic gold medal heptathlete Carolina Kluft.