Ski slope in the sun, with a Swedish flag in the front.
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Hammarbybacken in Stockholm would have to be raised another 20 metres for a Winter Olympics. Credit: Hasse Holmberg/TT
Sweden's Olympic Committee symbol.
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Sweden's Olympic Committee symbol. Credit: Jessica Gow/TT

Stockholm favourite to host 2026 Winter Olympics

4:30 min

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee acknowledged Stockholm as one of three official candidates to hosting the Winter Olympics 2026.

Sweden has only hosted the Olympics once before, in the summer of 1912. Eight times since then, a Swedish town or city has prepared a bid to host the Winter Olympics, but never made it all the way.

The Swedish bids have ended up in second place several times, but the last time around, for the Winter Olympics 2022, Stockholm withdrew it's candidacy along the way, because it was deemed as too costly.

This time around, the rules have changed, and the International Olympic Committee has vowed to contribute more to the costs. A Swedish bid does however depend on getting political support, says Alexander Lundholm, at Swedish Radio's Sports Department.

"Calgary will have a referendum about this in November and the Italian bid lacks financial support from the government. So that is why Sweden has maybe the best bid right now," Lundholm told Radio Sweden.

"The politicians in Stockholm and in the Swedish parliament have not decided if they want to support a bid. But if the politicians say yes, the Swedish bid has a great chance to win it," Lundholm said.

In the past, the arguments against Swedish bids have been a mix of 'too expensive', 'no guarantee of snow', and the fact that the games would be spread out over too many locations.

But with snow machines now being more common place and a strong drive in the Olympic movement to make the games more financially viable for host countries, the old criticism may not resonate as much as before.

The other two contestants are Canada's Calgary and Italy's Milan/Cortina. In June next year, it will be decided which bid wins.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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