IOC: Fifty-Five Percent Swedish Support for 2026 Bid

(ATR) The results of a recent poll released on final day of IOC Evaluation Commission visit to Sweden.

(ATR) A recent poll commissioned by the IOC Evaluation Commission reveals that 55-percent of the Swedish population are in favor of the Stockholm-Åre 2026 Winter Games bid, while 28% are uncertain and 17% are against.

The poll consulted 2,443 Swedish citizens, including 608 Stockholm residents. It was conducted by Publicis Media.

The numbers were released following the IOC commission’s five-day inspection visit to Stockholm, which in addition to two days of dialogue, included an overnight visit to the Swedish ski resort of Åre and a day trip to the Nordic skiing mecca of Falun, among other proposed venues in and around the Swedish capital.

"We are happy to see increasing public support as is evidenced by the recent IOC poll," said Octavian Morariu, the chair of the IOC Evaluation Commission.

"These numbers are excellent for Sweden," said Stockholm-Åre 2026 CEO Richard Brisius. "We are cautious people. Swedes don’t agree on much, for Sweden, believe me, this is good."

Brisius, also the president of the Volvo Ocean Race, noted that one year ago 25 percent were against the Swedish Olympic bid.

"We are also pleased about the financial support from the private sector," he added.

Stockholm 2026 leaders have made it clear that taxpayers will not be burdened with costs of hosting the Games, as everything other than national security will be privately financed. The projected budget for the Swedish bid is $1.5 billion.

Morariu summed up the commission’s five-day visit to Sweden.

"Over the past five days we’ve visited world-class venues, received great presentations and had very fruitful dialogues," said the Romanian IOC member. "We have found a great passion for winter sports that lives in this country."

Morariu said that the commission looks forward to receiving answers for questions posed to the Swedish bid officials.

"We have some questions and remarks about the role and responsibilities of the different bodies. We need to understand better about the knowledge of the public sector.

"We also have some questions concerning the Olympic village concept," he said, pertaining to the unprecedented proposal to have four Olympic villages.

Swedish IOC member Gunilla Lindberg delivered closing remarks on behalf of Stockholm 2026, addressing the 12-member commission and journalists in attendance at the closing session on Saturday morning in the Swedish capital.

"We’ve spent the last few days showing the strength of the bid," Lindberg said. "Our concept is bold and reflects the new direction of the movement of real sustainability and true legacy.

"Our vision is linked to our Swedish values, it is reasonable and sustainable.

"Sweden is ready, as are our Latvian partners, to give the world an Olympic and Paralympic Games that will create a new and rational model for generations to come," she said, referring to bobsleigh and luge events proposed for a pre-existing track in Sigulda, Latvia as a cost cutting measure.

Lindberg, an IOC member since 1986, said a winning bid would "benefit our nation, our people and the Olympic Winter Games for years to come."

IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said the commission’s visit to the Scandinavian city was fulfilling, while noting that their work has only just begun.

"When you have a fascinating conversation the whole week, it is very dense, it is rich and it makes for a great experience," Dubi said. "We go back with the full commission having a huge volume of information and hopefully reflect in a report a few weeks from now.

"My expectations were very high and they have been fulfilled," Dubi said, praising the numerous "Swedish winter sports experts" that were consulted and "world class venues" toured.

The IOC will provide the winning bid, whether it be Stockholm-Are or the joint Italian bid of Milan-Cortina, $925 million to start.

The election of the 2026 Olympic Winter Games host city takes place in Lausanne on June 24, coinciding with the opening of the new IOC headquarters.

Written and reported by Brian Pinelli in Stockholm

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