The President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach paid a visit to the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Finals 2018 in Åre on Friday. Besides attending the Alpine Team Event, President Bach’s visit concerned the potential bid by Stockholm for the Olympic Winter Games 2026 where Åre would serve as host of the Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard Events.

– In terms of winter sport, Sweden has it all: the facilities, the experience, the people and great enthusiasm. The country’s experience is put to use every year in the organization of different events. Clearly, all the conditions for all winter sports exist in Sweden, said President Bach during a press conference in Åre.

– The purpose of my visit to Åre is to learn more about the conditions for a possible Olympic Games Stockholm 2026 and the events here in Åre.

Thomas Bach together with  FIS and Åre 2019
Photo Nisse Schmidt

The chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the PyeongChang 2018 Games, Gunilla Lindberg, who is also Secretary General of the Swedish Olympic Committee, added:

– Over the years, Sweden has had many Olympic candidatures but has probably not had the right concept. Given the new rules and the new candidature procedure, and with the facilities that we already have today where we are hosting annual events, we know we can stage super good Games.

– We have great athletes, great volunteers, great sport loving people. We are now working hard and do see the possibilities growing. The combination of Stockholm and Åre is very promising, she noted.

Peter Reinebo, Head of Operations at SOC explained the current concept for the Stockholm 2026 Games bid:

– We now have a standing concept for Stockholm 2026. Stockholm would host the ice sports while the alpine team event would be held at Hammarbybacken and the ceremonies at the 1912 Olympic Stadium which would be a great legacy story. Falun and Åre would of course be key locations while the sliding sports would take place in a neighboring country.

– Our concept is good for the future and for sustainability, he said.

– We want to bid because the Games in Stockholm 2026 would be a driver for developing sports and developing tourism. Now we just need to win over the people of Sweden and the politics so that we can use the Games as driver for development.