AP NEWS

Swedish government pledges support for 2026 Olympics

April 9, 2019

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The Swedish government is getting behind the country’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, aiming to match a rival Italian bid which got a key lawmakers’ pledge last week.

Sports Minister Amanda Lind told broadcaster TV4 on Tuesday that hosting the games “would be great for Sweden.”

Swedish Olympic Committee chief operating officer Peter Reinebo said taxpayers would not foot the bill for the games, anchored in Stockholm with events held around the country and across the Baltic Sea in Latvia. The committee has estimated it will cost 13.1 billion kronor ($1.4 billion) and has said no public funds will be used.

Both candidates in the June 24 vote have been given extra time to secure government guarantees — a fundamental demand earlier in the process of previous Olympic hosting contests.

Last Friday, the Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo bid received assurances from the Italian government to fund security for the games and coordinate visas for visiting athletes, officials and fans.

The Swedish bid was also helped last week when Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins pledged support. Sweden does not have a sliding venue and proposes to race bobsled, luge and skeleton events at the track in Sigulda, Latvia.

The 2026 contest is the second straight Winter Games bid race with only two candidates.

The International Olympic Committee has promised to be flexible after proposals in Austria, Canada and Switzerland dropped out lacking public support. A bid from Japan was withdrawn and Turkey’s project was eliminated by the IOC.

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