Christophe Dubi, Executive Director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reflected positively on ‘a great experience’ during the 2026 Evaluation Commission visit to Sweden last week.
The delegates visited Stockholm, Åre and Falun during the busy visit, which saw them see the proposed venues for the bid and meet local politicians and stakeholders.
“You expect a busy week, because what we’re speaking about here is a bid for the Olympic Games in 2026, so there is a lot of ground to cover, a lot of people and stakeholders to meet,” explained Dubi.
“When you have fascinating conversation the whole week, it’s very dense, it’s rich and it makes it for a great experience. You come back after a week of work like this having learnt a lot. We go back to the Commission with a huge volume of information that we will now process and hopefully reflect in a report which will be produced in a few weeks from now.”
Dubi, who was joined by Evaluation Commission chief Octavian Morariu and a number of other delegates on behalf of the IOC, admitted that he arrived in Sweden with ‘very high’ expectations, but these were all fulfilled during the five-day trip.
“We’ve seen in Åre, Falun and Stockholm that the operators of the venues are top notch organisers,” he added. “They’re people who speak the same language – that’s reassuring and fulfilling because you’re on the same wave length.”
He continued: “So again, expectations were high, but really fulfilled, with a truly impressive quality of venue and incredible people. I also met a number of the stakeholder groups including the business community, and they’re very supportive, engaged and proud to be contributing to sport in Sweden. This is fantastic, when you have the public authorities, organisers that know their job and the business community behind you, it’s a real strength.”
Dubi explained that, with the Games still seven years away, and Swedish organisers having experience of delivering big events, it could be possible to start preparations later than usual for the event if it is awarded to Sweden in June 2019, in line with the IOC’s Agenda 2020 and Stockholm Åre 2026’s bid to deliver the most sustainable Olympic Games in history.
“In the context of Paris Roland Garros for example, or Los Angeles, you have organisers that have delivered big events like World Championships, so you can start your operational preparation later. This is something that we’ve started to test. We’ve done it to some extent in Buenos Aires, and we’re doing it right now in Tokyo. Here would be ideal, because some of the plans that have been developed for Åre’s Alpine Ski World Championships can be re-used, so you have a shorter time frame for the organisation, which is the really clever thing to do.”