Stefan Löfven, the prime minister of Sweden, and Margot Wallström, the country’s foreign minister, have given their backing to Stockholm’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.
“Sweden last hosted the Olympic Games in 1912 and now it is time again,” said Löfven. “We are a strong winter sports nation. Sweden wants the Olympics and Paralympics and we will deliver a sustainable Games – economically sustainable, socially sustainable and environmentally sustainable.”
He also highlighted the importance of the business community’s support for the games, saying that the collaborative effort between government, businesses and the local organising committee would see Stockholm Åre “delivered with fair conditions for employees” and would “ensure that 2026 will be a sustainable Games.”
Wallström emphasised the campaign’s ‘Made in Sweden’ slogan: “I think it stands for quality – that is what has traditionally been associated with ‘Made in Sweden’. We deliver to a high standard and you can trust something that is ‘Made in Sweden’. I think this will characterise a Swedish Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
A lack of government backing had led to question marks over the bid until earlier this year, when the Swedish government signed the official candidature file required by the IOC.
The latest statements from Löfven and Wallström, however, will be seen as crucial last-minute interventions, with one week remaining until the International Olympic Committee votes to choose a host for the Games at the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne on June 24. Last week, the Stockholm Åre bid also received official support from the three regional governments involved.
The IOC will choose between Stockholm Åre and Milan-Cortina – another bid which initially struggled to attract official government backing.