Dubi Projects Calm Amid Stockholm Uncertainty

(ATR) Even without current government support, IOC Executive Director Dubi is not worried about a Swedish bid.

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(ATR) IOC Executive Director Christophe Dubi says there are "no particular worries" about securing government support from the city of Stockholm for its 2026 Olympic bid.

Dubi told reporters in Sweden that a "very important meeting with the city council" is yet to take place as the bid fights to regain crucial support.

Stockholm must sign the host city contract, should the city’s bid be chosen by the IOC. So, local support is vital for its existence. Immediately upon starting its mandate, the new center-right City Council said it would be withdrawing support for Stockholm 2026.

It is not the first time Stockholm’s candidacy has faced a lack of government support. In 2017 reports circulated that both the city and national government would not support a bid, but leaders continued to build confidence in the project.

The bid survived, and made it to the IOC’s shortlist for the 2026 race. It was joined by Calgary and Milan/Cortina at the 2018 IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

Calgary citizens voted this week to abandon a 2026 Winter Olympic bid leaving just Stockholm and Milan/Cortina to vie for the project with the IOC. Italian officials have been working to convince the IOC that a lack of national government funding will not doom the project. For now, the IOC has reiterated its support to the set up, saying only regional money from Lombardy and Veneto would be needed.

As for Stockholm, the Swedish elections in September have thrown a wrench into the 2026 bid process. But Dubi believes everything will be settled by the time the 2026 bid books are due in January.

"I wouldn't say that Stockholm lacks political support," Dubi said. "At this point in time, the government is still in the making, and that's something we have to respect. It's a democracy where you have to form a government according to a certain process, and this is what will be done. We’re confident that by 11 January 2019 we'll have the equation fully in place, including all the elements that need to be delivered by the government."

Dubi says the IOC views the race as "50/50" and that the two countries "share the same love for winter sports". Having only two cities left in the race is not a problem, because in the "end it only takes one city" to host the Olympics, he added.

"The next step here is having the full support of the city of Stockholm – the other cities, as far as I know, are fully engaged," Dubi said. "Stockholm is one of the signatories of the host city contract so of course it will have to be fully part of the project, but I would say at this stage work is ongoing and they will be part of the project, so no particular worries at this time."

Written by Aaron Bauer

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