One of Sweden’s top ice hockey duos has pledged its support behind the Stockholm Åre 2026 bid, expressing excitement at the prospect of the Olympic Games coming to their hometown.
In their illustrious careers on the ice, twins Henrik and Joel Lundqvist have represented Sweden on the biggest stage of all – but growing up in Åre, they could never have imagined that they might one day not only boast Olympic medals of their own, but also be looking at a real prospect of the the Games coming to the winter wonderland resort.
Today, Henrik is widely-regarded as one of the best NHL players of all-time, and a long-time goalkeeper at the New York Rangers. He also boasts two Winter Olympic medals in an illustrious career – and admits that an Olympics on home soil would be ‘something special’.
“An Olympic Games at home, of course, would be something very special for all active people,” he said. “It’s also a great opportunity for Sweden as a country to show the world who we really are.”
‘Henkes’ best Olympic moments came in Turin 2006, where he took gold after a final victory over Finland, and a runner-up prize in Sochi 2014, when Sweden lost out to Canada.
A key part of the Stockholm Åre bid for 2026, Åre boasts a fine reputation as a world-class ski resort, and recently hosted the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
“As someone raised in Åre, I personally think it would be very cool to see an Olympic Games come to Åre,” Henrik continued.
Joel, who is currently plying his trade in Sweden’s SHL with Frölunda, captained the Swedish Olympic team at Pyeongchang 2018.
“I remember being brought up in Åre in the 1980s when we bid for the games several times, but it didn’t work out,” he says. “Sweden is a fantastic sports country. It’s time for both active people and the general public to experience an Olympic Games on home soil – it would mean a lot.”