Winter Olympic bid in jeopardy as Stockholm gets cold feet

Stockholm’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics - which includes collaboration with Sigulda in Latvia - has been thrown into serious doubt after an agreement was reached between the Stockholm City Council’s two newly-merged parties that it will not host the Games, reported the LETA news agency October 13.

As reported by Swedish English-language news outlet The Local, the Green Party has agreed to work with the center-right Alliance parties in Stockholm's City Council.

According to Dagens Nyheter, one of the two policies agreed on by the parties is that Stockholm will not host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

The news comes just three days after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to shortlist Sweden's capital as one of three candidates for the Games along with Calgary and a joint attempt from Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo.

"The starting point for all our parties has been to ensure that a Winter Olympics will not be funded by taxpayers' funds," Karin Ernlund, a member of the Center Party, told SVT Nyheter. "The Games must also be arranged in a way that does not cover our environmental and climate work. The assessment is also that Stockholm faces other major challenges we need to work with. Therefore, Stockholm will not host the 2026 Winter Olympics,'' she said.

Anna Konig Jerlmyr, a member of the Moderate Party, added: "There is no clear foundation for a Winter Olympics right now, but everyone wants in the future, so the question is when."

Stockholm, which staged the Summer Olympic Games in 1912, had been lacking support from either the Swedish Government or City Council.

Sweden is currently facing political deadlock following last month's elections which delivered a hung Parliament with the left-green bloc headed by the Social Democrats on 144 seats, and the four-party Alliance on 143 seats.

As reported, Latvia and Sweden signed a memorandum in June providing for cooperation on Stockholm’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, using Latvia's Sigulda track for the Olympic luge, bobsleigh and skeleton events.

Stockholm does not have its own bobsleigh track, which is why it has approached the Latvian Olympic Committee for the Sigulda Bobsleigh and Luge Track to be included in its Olympic bid. The chance to play a part in the Winter Olympics has geenerated considerable enthusiasm in Latvia.

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