Stockholm: 'One step closer to the dream of the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics'
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today voted to shortlist Sweden as one of three candidates to host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
“We are honoured and delighted to be one step closer to the dream of the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. We will now continue respectfully and in a positive frame of mind with our collaboration with our many stakeholders, both in Sweden and worldwide,” says Richard Brisius, managing director of Stockholm’s 2026 Winter Olympics & Paralympics bid.
Prior to their decision, the IOC Executive Board was extremely positive in reviewing Sweden’s and Stockholm’s bid with its sustainability concept, writing in its press release, “Stockholm proposes venues in the heart of the city that would elevate and energise the Games experience”.
The concept of the bid is to utilise already existing facilities, with almost no new building projects. This will create an entirely new type of winter games integrated within an already existing infrastructure.
“You will take the Metro or bicycle to the opening ceremony at the Friend’s Arena, with prize ceremonies held below the Royal Palace, making them easily accessible to the public. We already have almost everything we need in place, which is why we will be able to concentrate on other matters; for example, making the winter games an accessible people’s festival and, of course, sustainable,” explains Brisius.
Over the years, Sweden has sought to host the games on a number of occasions. The work conducted over the course of these campaigns has not been wasted, with all of the experience and learnings gained being put to good use.
“There are 15 years of hard work behind our application to host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and a great many people have contributed. One extremely gratifying aspect from our perspective is that the IOC’s attitude to the winter games has shifted a great deal over recent years. We are delighted that the Olympic Agenda 2020 strategic roadmap states the Olympic movement’s desire to see the games adapted to the long-term needs of the host city, rather than the other way around. I’m sure that I’m far from alone in considering this to be a positive development,” Brisius adds.
One of Olympic Agenda 2020’s most important requirements is that the games should be sustainable in all respects, including financially. This is something that the Stockholm 2026 campaign has taken up. If something is already in place, it should be used. Nothing should be built solely for the games; something that applies to every aspect of the bid.
“We are convinced that Sweden and Stockholm will hold a world-class winter games – an Olympics that is sustainable in all respects, not least economically. The games should not demand tax payers’ money – on the contrary, they should provide added value. We will not need to make investments in new stadiums as Sweden already has all of the necessary competition venues. We also have the necessary roads, railways, airports and hotels, with almost no need to build new facilities,” says Mats Årjes, President of the Swedish Olympic Committee, who continues:
“The new values on which the Winter Olympics and Paralympics are to be based, and the fact that Sweden and Stockholm will not be required to make major investments in order to host the games, mean that we will be able to create the most sustainable winter games at the lowest budget for over 30 years. I also believe that it is important for the Olympic movement as a whole that the games are able to encapsulate the values of the age and are economical with our resources.”
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