The IOC Evaluation Commission today published its in-depth report on the Stockholm Åre 2026 bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Sweden for the first time, calling it “a candidature that fully embraces the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm, features first-rate venues and capitalises on Sweden’s love and tradition of winter sports.”
The report highlights a compelling offer to the Olympic Movement that is distinctively ‘Made in Sweden’: a creative, progressive, ultra-sustainable Games capitalising on existing elite venues, hosted in a nation renowned for its dependability and authentic winter sports culture.
The IOC Evaluation Commission report states that “Sweden lives and breathes winter sports. Snow and ice sports are part of the Nordic country’s DNA” and that “Sweden is a winter sports country with a strong track record of experience and expertise in hosting winter sports events.”
This deeply engrained winter sports culture equips the Swedish bid to deliver an exceptional experience for the Olympians and Paralympians of 2026. The report states that Stockholm Åre 2026 will “optimise the athlete experience and contribute greatly to the success of the Games. Athletes would benefit from world-class, plug-and-play venues, authentic winter sports conditions, proximity to training and competition sites, and cutting-edge technological innovations.”
The IOC Evaluation Commission, Chaired by IOC Member Octavian Morariu, compiled its report following five days of working meetings, detailed technical briefings and venue tours in Stockholm-Åre from 12-16 March 2019.
The IOC Evaluation Commission highlights Sweden’s “strong global reputation in the sustainability field” and its capacity to offer “world-leading expertise and innovation.” The report goes on to state, “Sustainability is a central component of the Swedish candidature and underpins the vision to create a new model for the Winter Games.” The report also notes that “Sweden’s strong economy and solid growth in key industries offers a good platform for a successful Games marketing programme.”
The online poll commissioned by the IOC for the Evaluation Commission report demonstrated growing domestic support for the Stockholm Åre bid, with 55% of Swedes now in favour of hosting the Winter Games for the first time. As the Candidature Process continues, opposition has decreased, with just 17% of residents now against the bid.
The evaluation commission confirms that the Swedish bid lives up to the highest expectations for an amazing Paralympic Games for athletes and the general public. It is also pinpointed that the Paralympics will be a very large opportunity for developing and growing Para Winter Sport in Sweden, a fundamental aspect of Stockholm Åre 2026’s goal of using the Winter Games as a tool for building greater social inclusion and cohesion.
Stockholm Åre 2026 CEO Richard Brisius said: “Our bid has got stronger and surer with every step of this Candidature Process, and we are very appreciative of the work of the Evaluation Commission and the partnership with the IOC and its experts. Today’s overwhelmingly positive report is the strongest validation yet of our pledge to make the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games more sustainable, more affordable and more accessible for more cities and communities than ever. Stockholm Åre 2026 will head to the IOC Session in Lausanne with confidence that our bid is tailor made for the new reality of staging a truly 21st Century Winter Games.”
Swedish Olympic Committee Chairman Mats Årjes said: “It is clear that Sweden’s authentic winter sports culture really resonated with the members of the Evaluation Commission. Winter sports are in Swedes’ DNA; they’re part of the fabric of our cities and our communities. That’s why we already have so many state-of-the-art venues that are full of Swedish fans every week of the winter season. Combine that passion with our Winter Games concept that puts 85% of athletes in just two locations, Stockholm and Åre, and we can promise the most magical experience for athletes and fans.”
IOC Executive Board member and SOK Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg said: “’Made in Sweden’ is a promise, not just a slogan. It is Stockholm Åre 2026’s promise of the quality the Olympic Movement needs, from partners they can trust. We are grateful for the IOC Evaluation Commission’s thoughtful, constructive feedback in today’s report and throughout this collaborative and enriching Candidature Process. Stockholm Åre 2026 is ready to help the IOC establish a new Winter Games model that breaks new ground in sustainability and unforgettable athlete experiences.”