Stockholm-Sigulda 2026 Olympic bid one of three remaining contenders

The joint application by the Swedish capital Stockholm and the city of Sigulda, Latvia, was officially included in the short list of candidates for hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics on Tuesday at the International Olympic Committee (SOK) Executive Committee meeting.

The "Stockulda" bid envisages hosting most events in Sweden but using the famous Sigulda track for sliding events such as skeleton, luge and bobsled.

Competing against the bid will be the Canadian city of Calgary and the Italian city of Milan backed up by the Cortina d'Ampezo winter sports resort after other bidders withdrew or were ruled out by Olympic organizers.

It means Latvia is one step closer to playing a major role as an Olympic host nation.  A decision on who will host the 2026 winter Olympics is expected next September.

A release from the International Olympic Committee said work would continue on the bids with fresh submissions from each of the three candidates expected in January.

IOC President Thomas Bach, speaking in Buenos Aires, said: “We are very pleased with the quality of the candidatures, and look forward to extending our collaboration with the Cities and the respective National Olympic Committees. It was encouraging to see the impact of Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm, with an average reduction of 15 per cent in their operating budgets compared to past Candidature Processes, and an increase from 60 to 80 per cent of existing venues being used. We will continue to tailor our approach to the specific needs and objectives of each candidate, ensuring that the Olympic Winter Games 2026 can adapt to support their ambitions and vision for the future.”

An Evaluation Commission will be appointed by the IOC, and will travel to the cities in March and April 2019. The Commission will then publish a report in June 2019, prior to the election of the host city at the 134th IOC Session.  

The modernzed track at Sigulda is already open for the winter season after the ice-makers were turned on last week.  The bobsleigh and luge tracks will host both World Cup and European Championships events this season. The first stage of this season's World Cup in the skeleton and junior bobsleigh will take place from December 7 to 9. 

Then from 21 to 27 January 2019 the European Cup in skeleton will take place in Sigulda - international competitions will take place from 21 to 27 January, and the World Cup will be held from 11 to 13 January. The Latvian championship in luge will be held on March 3 to round off the season.

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