Peter Eriksson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, today expressed his conviction that Stockholm Åre 2026 would be the ideal opportunity to put Sweden on the global stage. Minister Eriksson’s backing comes days after Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström pledged their united support for the 2026 Winter Games in Sweden.
“I think that it would be good for Swedish industry if we display Sweden in this way. We have abeautiful country to show to the rest of the world and it is of course good for the growing tourism in Sweden,” he said.
“I am sure that if we were to host our first ever Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, it would make children and young people even more interested in sports, which would be worth a lot both for them and for Sweden as a country”, added Eriksson.
Sweden has a great history in the Winter Games. Indeed, the winter wonderland nation has collected more gold medals than any other country that have never hosted the event – and Eriksson reflects on some iconic Olympic and Paralympic moments that have given Swedes a special relationship with the Games over the years.
“I think back to when I was younger – maybe 10-15 years old. I remember how interested I was in sports and how exciting it was with the Olympics. I’d go out with my friends and practise the ‘Fosbury flop’ after watching Richard Fosbury jump incredible heights, or long jump after Bob Beamon had jumped 8.90 metres.”
It is special Olympic memories like those that Eriksson wants the next generation of Swedish youth to get inspired by as well. He also mentions how the games would motivate young talents in Sweden to push themselves to reach new goals and achieve their best.
“It takes a lot of courage to invest fully in your sport. But perhaps you’re good enough to make it at international level, and if you have a clear goal of Olympic or Paralympic Games on home soil, it can spur you on to dream bigger.”
On Monday, the IOC members will cast their decisive vote in Lausanne, Switzerland – and either Sweden or Italy will be awarded the Games in 2026.
Eriksson will be in Switzerland to give every ounce of his support. “It will be very exciting,” he said. “It’s still uncertain who will win, and I’ll help as much as I can.”