The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has hosted a seminar focused on Sweden’s bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With a packed house, the attendees were eager to discuss how Stockholm Åre 2026 could be used as a springboard for sustainable development.
Among the speakers were Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm, Maria Wetterstrand, former leader of the Swedish Green Party, and Karin Wanngård, former Mayor of Stockholm between 2014 and 2018. Ms. Wanngård remains as a member of Stockholm City Executive Board and Opposition Vice Mayor.
In spite of their political differences, the mayor and former mayor are completely united in their support for Stockholm Åre 2026, and they share the same enthusiasm for the benefits the Games will bring to Swedish society.
“Olympic Agenda 2020 presents a great opportunity for us all, especially when it comes to sustainability,” said König Jerlmyr. “It’s a message of strength, for the Olympics and for Stockholm given our global leadership in this important area.
“If Stockholm Åre 2026 is successful, we will have tremendous opportunities to showcase Sweden’s innovative culture of sustainability. Nothing brings the world together like the Olympics, and “inclusivity” is also a hallmark of Swedish culture. So in that sense, we really believe we have unique and shared values with the Olympics.”
Olympic Agenda 2020 is the IOC’s new strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic movement. The initiative, which covers areas such as sustainability, economic viability and social cohesion, has inspired the Stockholm Åre 2026 bid. The bid’s primary focus is a ‘use what you have, where you have it’ approach. The Swedish campaign has clearly stated its goal of becoming the most sustainable Winter Games ever.
Swedish Green Party spokesperson and former leader, Maria Wetterstrand, offered her view of Sweden’s Winter Olympic and Paralympics application from a sustainability aspect – highlighting that the bar is being set very high in terms of sustainability goals.
”Stockholm Åre 2026 strives to make a positive impact on all 17 global sustainability goals. It is very interesting if you can lead in this area, prove that it is actually possible to approach this in a serious way and show that you have made a positive impact,” Wetterstrand said.
“When I look at Sweden’s application there are several large benefits for Stockholm. Among other things, it is centred around sustainability, where Sweden is already very far ahead. It lays the foundations for a Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sweden to become a model for events in the future.”
Mayor König Jerlmyr and former Mayor Wanngård will both be in Lausanne for the decisive vote on 24 June, and each believe that Sweden’s sustainable approach and leadership in this area could be key factors for the 2026 Winter Games.
“I’m a passionate Olympic fan” said Karin Wanngård. “When it comes to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, I am convinced that Stockholm Åre 2026 will host in a way that is transformative for future Winter Games. Virtually all of the needed venues for the Games are already in place. Our Games Concept, including Åre and Falun, is both sustainable and prudent. And, Stockholm Åre 2026 will be an historic Winter Games given our cooperation with our Latvian neighbours.”
She continued: “Everything is in place for the world’s greatest athletes, for our young people to see their idols up close, and to inspire greater participation in sport and more healthy lifestyles. It is also a great opportunity for business and integration. As a true winter nation in love with winter sports, we know that we can make the 2026 Winter Games amazing in every way. I will be in Lausanne supporting our bid, and I am hopeful we get the chance to welcome the world to our home in 2026.”