(ATR) The two remaining bids to host the 2026 Olympics and Paralympics turned in their candidature files to the IOC on Friday, meeting the deadline.
The Italian bid of Milan-Cortina was already a joint venture but the Swedish candidature has revealed a second city for its effort.
The Swedish bid is adding the ski resort of Åre to its name, which is now Stockholm-Åre 2026. Åre, located 541 kilometers (336 miles) northwest of the Swedish capital, is the venue for Alpine skiing events in 2026. It is also hosting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships next month.
“It’s a great day. We’ve been very honored to have completed our candidature file to the IOC and now we have to take a short moment but a good moment to celebrate the great work done by everyone involved producing this candidature file,” said Richard Brisius, the CEO of the Swedish bid, in an interview with Around the Rings
Brisius says “everything has now fallen in place” for the bid, including the support of the Stockholm city council, a sticking point since elections last September that created a coalition government that had opposed the project. He says the other regions of the country are also on board and that the national government should soon be following suit once a coalition is in place.
Richard Brisius, Stockholm-Åre 2026 CEO (ATR)
“We might have the government actually in the end of next week. They came out today and said this is the coalition they want to go to the Speaker of the House with, and so they will make a vote for the new government,” Brisius says.
“But the good thing is that we’ve over the past months had very fruitful meetings with Parliament members that support us and the IOC have been involved in those and informed about those so it’s clear that no one sees the hurdle of government in Sweden.”
Milan-Cortina was also waiting for national government support but received it on Thursday.
Italian NOC president, and IOC member, Giovanni Malagò tells La Sicilia
that the Milan-Cortina bid, which features 14 venues in Milan and the Dolomites, is “very strong” even though he admits that “in the best Italian tradition we arrived almost at the last second”.
Stockholm-Åre 2026 proposes many events in the Stockholm region, though spectators will need to travel to see Alpine events in Åre, ski jumping and Nordic combined in Falun, and sliding sports in Sigulda, Latvia.
Milan-Cortina and Stockholm-Åre are the first candidature files produced since Olympic Agenda 2020/The New Norm was approved by the IOC Session in February 2018.
The IOC says the new guidelines, designed to streamline the bidding process and make it less expensive to host the Games, are already delivering substantial benefits to the candidate cities and their projects.
“With these two traditional sports countries as candidates, we see the very positive impact of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms,” the Chair of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Winter Games 2026, Octavian Morariu, said in a statement.
“Both countries have vast experience in organising World Cups and World Championships, with existing infrastructure and experienced operators. This has allowed the candidates to reduce the investment needed and increase the sustainability of their projects.”
The next step in the process will be an analysis of the two bids by the IOC Evaluation Commission. Besides the files and documents already submitted, the commission will visit Stockholm-Are from March 12 to 16 and Milan-Cortina from April 2 to 6. The Commission’s report will be made public ahead of the host city election, which will take place in June this year during the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne.
Homepage photo: IOC
Written by Gerard Farek
For general comments or questions, click here.
25 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribers only.