— Published 13 November 2023

Swedish government backs 2030 Winter Games bid

He was missing one piece, just one, to complete his file and keep moving forward. It is now in the pile. By obtaining formal, written support from the government, Sweden remains in the running for the Winter Games in 2030.

The government is ready to move on to the next phase and provide the state guarantees required for a bid to host the 2030 Winter Games in Sweden,” announced a statement from the political authorities on Sunday November 12.

Earlier in the race, the Swedish project had moved several pieces forward at once, explaining that it had obtained written guarantees from three potential host cities, Åre, Östersund and Falun, which were to host the Alpine skiing, biathlon and Nordic skiing events respectively.

According to Hans von Uthmann, President of the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK), things are well on the way to getting the capital, Stockholm, and the two neighboring towns of Södertälje and Solna on board.

The Swedish government’s press release spells it out: the Olympic and Paralympic project will have to rally massive support from the private sector. Never easy. But as Stockholm suggests, the objective has already been partially achieved.

The government notes the great interest shown by Swedish businesses in a Winter Games in Sweden, explains the statement. A prerequisite for the government’s support for a Swedish Olympic bid is that the business community contributes to the sponsorship revenues calculated in the Games budget.”

With this announcement and support from the authorities, Sweden can get on with the race. Like its French and Swiss rivals, it can now prepare for the big oration before the IOC’s future host commission. This is scheduled for November 21, by videoconference. The three projects will be presented one after the other on the same day.

The committee, chaired by Austrian Karl Stoss, will then make a recommendation to the Executive Board. It will then be up to the Executive Board to select the candidate(s) for the targeted dialogue phase. The decision will be announced at the next meeting of the Executive Committee, from November 29 to December 1 in Paris.

At this stage of the race, Sweden will not be presenting a complete venue map with no grey areas. The country has no bobsleigh, luge or skeleton tracks. And it has no plans to build any. For its unsuccessful bid for the 2026 Winter Games, the plan was to use the track in Sigulda, Latvia. This option remains at the top of the list in the new Swedish bid.

The French bid, presented to the media last week, also has a question mark. This concerns the speed skating oval, for which the project supported by the two Alpine regions envisages two options: a temporary facility in an existing convention or exhibition center, or the use of a foreign facility.

Unlike Switzerland and France, Sweden has never staged the Winter Games, despite a record number of eight bids.

Question: will the IOC retain a single project, or several, for the targeted dialogue phase? The Olympic body has not revealed the slightest clue that would allow us to venture an answer. Since its reform, the new bidding process has only been used once, for the 2032 Summer Games. Brisbane was the only city selected. It was the favorite. It won. Nothing to complain about.

This time, the game looks less clear-cut. With two weeks to go before the Executive Board meeting, it remains difficult to establish a hierarchy between the three European projects. All have learned the lessons of the IOC’s Agenda 2020+5, with sustainable, low-cost projects and no new construction.

By choosing France, the IOC wouldn’t be taking any risks,” suggested David Lappartient, President of the French Olympic Committee, at the presentation of the two regions’ project. True, but it would probably take no more risk by entrusting the event to Switzerland or Sweden.