Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made last-minute efforts to support Stockholm's bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics on June 23rd, saying his country is ready to host the Winter Olympic Games and fulfil its promises if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses to confer the honour, Reuters has reported.
The International Olympic Committee is selected the host city in a vote on Monday, June 24th.
Löfven was speaking after a meeting between the Stockholm bid and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, less than 24 hours before the selection of the international institution of the host city. "Sweden is ready to host the Winter Games in 2026," Löfven told reporters. "The Swedish government is fully behind this offer and we look forward to presenting what we have."
Löfven heads the Swedish delegation, which also includes Princess Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, who briefly walked with Bach on the balcony of the Olympic Museum overlooking Lake Geneva.
Sweden, one of the major powers in winter sports, hosted the 1912 Summer Games but has never hosted the Winter Games before. "We seem to be in a strange historical situation," said Stephan Holm, a retired Olympic athlete and member of the Swedish Olympic Committee, who won a gold in the 2004, Athens Summer Olympics.
The Italian delegation also met with Bach as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to join on Monday June 24th to form part of the team. Italy has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice, the last in Turin in 2006.