Sweden’s Olympic leaders are weighing up whether to bid for the Winter Games in 2030.
The Nordic country’s potential entry into the race to stage the 2030 Games comes at a time when the International Olympic Committee has delayed the process and is searching around for more contenders to host the event.
Sapporo, Japan, was considered the favorite before an ongoing bid-rigging scandal related to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo held in 2021. Salt Lake City is the only other known bidder that might consider taking 2030, though officials have said they favor a bid for 2034.
A joint Stockholm-Are bid from Sweden lost out to another shared bid, from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, to stage the Winter Games in 2026 amid a lack of clear public support in Sweden and some government upheaval at local and national level in the run-up to the vote.
There was reportedly discontent in Stockholm over how the Swedish bid was treated in the contest for the 2026 Games.
The Swedish Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the Swedish Sports Confederation will start a feasibility study for 2030, they said Wednesday. A report from the study will be presented on April 20.
“These are new times now and the feasibility study will show how the Olympics and Paralympics can be shaped based on Sweden’s conditions,” said Anders Larsson, acting chairman of the Swedish Olympic Committee. “We already have virtually all the arenas required to arrange the largest Winter Games.”
The committee's secretary general, Åsa Edlund Jönsson, said the 2030 Games “could be a campfire to rally Sweden around.”
“The idea is to review the concept that existed for the candidacy in 2026, which would mean competitions in several places in Sweden,” Jönsson said, specifically referencing Stockholm and the regions of Dalarna and Jämtland. “Here we feel confident that there is great experience in arranging world-class winter championships in the Swedish sports movement.”
The Stockholm-Are bid for 2026 even included plans to stage ice-sliding sports across the Baltic Sea at a venue in Latvia to avoid building a white elephant venue in Sweden — a key demand of IOC reforms to cut Olympic hosting costs.
The idea of Sweden potentially joining the 2030 race came up at a meeting in Lausanne in January.
“We have had a meeting with the IOC that was about, without obligation from any quarter, looking at the games in 2030,” Larsson said. “During that meeting, it was clear that the IOC liked our concept for 2026. What the feasibility study will provide answers to is whether we are ready to move forward in the process.”
Sweden hosted the Summer Olympics in 1912 but never a Winter Games, despite the country being an established giant in winter sports.
It has made eight failed bids to stage the Winter Games.
Gunilla Lindberg, who is on the Swedish Olympic Committee, is also an IOC member and on its panel tasked with finding potential future hosts for the Winter Games.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune .
Comments / 0