Petter Stordalen, one of the Nordic region’s most successful businessmen and a passionate environmentalist, is the latest figure to come out in support of an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sweden in 2026.
“I love the Nordic region and the openness we stand for,” he revealed. “I want more people to discover that.”
The 56-year-old businessman, who is best known as the founder of Nordic Choice Hotels, spoke favorably about the prospect of a Winter Games in Sweden at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR or SKL in Swedish)’ annual seminar day last month.
“We have a unique opportunity to host an Olympic Winter Games that, as has previously been mentioned, will use existing arenas, showcase the whole region, and do it in a sustainable way.”
He continued: “The fact that the International Olympic Committee has offered to contribute SEK 9 billion is an opportunity we can’t miss. All in all, I think it’s a no-brainer.”
The Swedish bid for the 2026 Winter Games is centered on Stockholm, but also features events in Åre, Falun and Sigulda (Latvia); Stordalen believes that, by spreading the events across the country would promote collaboration, not just in Sweden but beyond.
“The Winter Olympics are important to Stockholm, but also to the other cities which would hold competitions. I think it could help to bring together this part of Northern Europe, help us to market ourselves and show that development and growth can take place in a sustainable way, and also help people become more engaged in winter sports.”
If Sweden were to win in 2026, it would mark the first time that the nation has ever hosted a Winter Games, the first Olympic Games in Sweden for 114 years, and the first time that the Winter Olympics have been held in the Nordic region in over three decades.
“It’s important that everyone is involved, especially those living in the cities hosting competitions so that we are all part of organizing an Olympic Winter Games we are proud of. If we succeed in doing this, we will create a fantastic event. Being a host to the Olympic Games is a huge honor – it puts us in the history books forever.” He adds: “It’s clear that we can be as proud of the Olympic Winter Games in 2026 as we are of the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm and the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer.”