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Stockholm city government deal threatens 2026 Winter Olympics bid


Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), speaks as he presents Stockholm as candidate city to host the 2026 Winter Olympics during the 133rd IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina October 9, 2018. (REUTERS)

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Stockholm’s bid to host the 2026 Olympics is at risk just three days after the IOC formally approved the city among three candidates. Swedish media report a new coalition deal to run Stockholm’s city government, between a center-right alliance and environmentalists, requires no taxpayer funding for a Winter Games.

If Stockholm drops out, the IOC will be left with Calgary, Canada, and the combined Italian bid of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. A June vote is scheduled. Calgary’s bid faces a Nov. 13 referendum, and full government support is not guaranteed in Italy.

Amid widespread public concern at Olympic hosting costs, IOC vice president Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. acknowledged this week: “We have to make a huge effort in explaining ourselves better.”

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