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  • Sweden Close to Launching 2026 Winter Olympic Bid


    Stockholm could bid for the 2026 Olympics (Getty Images)
    (ATR) Around the Rings is told that a Stockholm bid for the 2026 Games has received widespread support from Sweden's national sports federations.

    The Swedish NOC’s former president Stefan Lindeberg tells ATR that federations underlined their support at the annual assembly on Tuesday following a presentation about the Stockholm bidding concept.

    “It was very positively received,” said Lindeberg who stepped down this week after 16 years as head of the NOC.

    Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of telecoms giant Ericsson Group, was elected as the Swedish Olympic committee's new president at the general assembly. He was the only candidate.

    City authorities will decide in May whether to move forward with an Olympic bid.

    “We expected a positive reception because Swedish sport is really trying to find ways of revitalising sports to deal with the integration of all the newcomers [refugees, migrants] to Sweden.

    “Sport is a fantastic tool for Swedish society. A project like the Olympic Games would be a major force to make this happen,” Lindeberg said.

    Lindeberg said the NOC had been in talks with the city council “for quite a long time”. A bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics was first mooted last year.

    “I was optimistic before and I am more optimistic now as sport gathers around this project and with Hans getting on board with international experience and his position in Swedish business,” he said.

    “To me it’s important we get new leadership in place that can build trust in a Swedish bid and delivery of the Games in the future.”

    A new Swedish Olympic bid would follow Stockholm’s withdrawal from the 2022 contest due to a lack of financial guarantees. The city dropped out of the race in January 2014 after the ruling Moderate party failed to back bid plans.

    Canada, Norway and Switzerland are also mulling bids for the next Winter Games.

    Swiss NOC leaders on Wednesday met with cities interested in mounting a bid for the Olympics. Davos and St. Moritz are planning to bid. Their joint bid for the 2022 Olympics was rejected in a referendum. Sion and Bern have also expressed interest.

    A Swiss NOC 2026 task force will evaluate the cities before a final decision is made on whether to submit an Olympic bid by September 2017.

    Reported by Mark Bisson

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