Stockholm 2026 Olympics bid on verge of collapse
By Jonathan Rest
Stockholm's hopes of staging the winter Olympic Games in 2026 are in a perilous position after the newly-formed city council announced it will not proceed with the bid today.
The Green Party has agreed to work with the centre-right Alliance parties in Stockholm's city council, marking a political shift in the capital, and a change of heart on the Olympics project.
One of two policies already agreed on by the new green-blue coalition is that Stockholm will not host the 2026 winter Olympics, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter reported.
Neither the SOK, the Swedish Olympic Committee, nor Stockholm 2026 have commented on the council's declaration.
Karin Ernlund, a member of the Centre Party, said: "The starting point for all our parties has been to ensure that a Winter Olympics will not be funded by taxpayers' funds. The Games must also be arranged in a way that does not cover our environmental and climate work. The assessment is also that Stockholm faces other major challenges we need to work with.
"Therefore, Stockholm will not host the 2026 Winter Olympics."
Speaking at a media briefing in Buenos Aires today, where the Youth Olympic Games are taking place, Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Games executive director, said: "It is premature to comment on this because we have not had any official communication coming from the candidate city."
Stockholm was previously governed by the Social Democrats, Green Party and Feminist Initiative, which lost their majority in the 9 September elections.
The Social Democrats, the largest party in that ruling coalition, were initially in favour of the 2026 bid, but there had been wider concern over the associated costs of bidding for and hosting an Olympic Games.
IOC president Thomas Bach said just this week that there is no "plan B" for hosting the 2026 winter Olympic Games, despite question marks over the three cities.
Last week, the IOC executive board cut Erzurum, Turkey from the race after a working group ruled that it had too little experience hosting winter sports and needed too much investment on venues.
Sion in Switzerland and Graz in Austria have already dropped out of the race thanks to lack of popular and/or political support, while Sapporo in Japan blamed the devastation caused by a recent earthquake for switching its attention to the 2030 edition instead.