Could Sweden Become Surprise 2030 Winter Olympics Host?

Julia Schneemann | | OlympicsOlympics
The Olympic Rings at Whistler, Canada | Picture: Katie Griffin @travelingtheblue Instagram Page

Sweden has emerged as a potential last-minute bidder to host the 2030 Winter Olympic Games. According to recent reports, Swedish officials met with International Olympic Committee (‘IOC’) officials in Switzerland in January 2023 to discuss the possibility of Sweden submitting a bid to host the 2030 Winter Games.

The IOC had earlier postponed the official announcement of the next Winter Olympics host city for a third time. The announcement was scheduled for the 140th IOC meeting in Mumbai in 2023. However, in December 2022, the IOC delayed the announcement to 2024. Typically host nations are announced seven years in advance, which has moved to just 5.5 years before the actual event.

The IOC cited environmental and sustainability concerns for the delay. Still, the IOC is facing uncertainty around the host city selection, as the two remaining bidders, Sapporo and Salt Lake City seemed less likely to commit to their 2030 bid. Sapporo put their bid on ice amidst the Tokyo bribing allegations, and Salt Lake City was making it known that they preferred to bid for 2034. 

Sweden made a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics but lost out to Milan-Cortina. The Scandinavian nation has made eight bids in the past to host the Winter Games that have failed. The IOC has given the nation until June 2023 to submit a formal bid. Sweden plans to dust off their 2026 bid, which had proposed to hold competitions across the country, specifically in Stockholm, the nation’s capital, and the regions of Dalarna and Jämtland, which are further north. The country would propose utilizing existing venues per the IOC’s preferences. The country will conduct a feasibility study before committing to a formal bid. 

“We have had a meeting with the IOC that was about, without obligation from any quarter, looking at the games in 2030. During that meeting, it was clear that the IOC liked our concept for 2026. What the feasibility study will provide answers to is whether we are ready to move forward in the process.”

– Anders Larsson, acting chairman of the Swedish Olympic Committee

There has been talk about creating a ‘pool’ of host nations from which to pick from by the IOC to keep costs down and secure the Winter Games’ longevity. Adding another nation to this pool would ensure that the Winter Olympics can continue for the foreseeable future.

Map of Sweden | Picture: Thing Link

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