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Sweden 2030 Winter Games bid begins ‘dialogue phase’ with IOC

Sweden Olympics

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Flag bearer of Sweden Niklas Edin leads the team during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

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A Swedish bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics took the next step, entering into a “dialogue phase” with the IOC, which is expected to determine the host no earlier than this autumn but before the 2024 Paris Games.

The Sweden Olympic Committee said the ongoing dialogue is expected to last just under six months with a possible final step of targeted dialogue. Under recent future host reforms, the IOC can enter targeted dialogue with what it deems a “preferred host” candidate.

Seventy percent of Swedes surveyed approve pursuing the 2030 Games under the right, cost-effective circumstances, according to the Sweden Olympic Committee.

The preliminary proposal has some ice sports around Stockholm and snow sports in Åre (380 miles northwest of Stockholm), Östersund (330 miles northwest of Stockholm) and Falun for Nordic skiing (130 miles northwest of Stockholm).

Sweden does not have existing venues that currently hold major international competitions in speed skating and bobsled, luge and skeleton. It’s possible the bid could expand to include Norway or the Netherlands for speed skating and Norway or Latvia for bobsled, luge and skeleton.

Sweden’s unsuccessful bid for the 2026 Winter Games (lost a 2019 vote to Italy) had sliding sports in Latvia and speed skating in a venue in the Stockholm area that would have been built had it been awarded the Games.

Sweden’s latest step comes after the Japan Olympic Committee reportedly decided this week that it plans not to pursue the 2030 Winter Games with Sapporo, which had been one of the early candidates. A public survey showed 60 percent opposition to bidding, a committee board member said, according to Kyodo News.

Japan could still try for the 2034 Winter Games. The Japan Olympic Committee, which stopped active promotion of the bid last December pending a review, has not responded to a request for comment on if the 2030 bid is no longer active.

Salt Lake City and Vancouver also previously expressed some interest in the 2030 Games.

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Salt Lake City prefer 2034 to 2030 (with Los Angeles already hosting the 2028 Summer Games) but could step in for 2030 if asked.

Last October, the British Columbia government said it would not support a Vancouver bid, a major setback, though organizers did not say that decision ended the bid.

In December, the IOC said it was no longer targeting the 2030 host to be decided before next fall in announcing wider discussions into the future of the Winter Games, including the possibility of rotating the Games within a pool of hosts.

Hosts have traditionally been chosen by IOC members vote seven years before the Games, though recent reforms allow flexibility on the process and timeline. For example, the 2024 and 2028 Games were awarded to Paris and Los Angeles in a historic double award in 2017. The 2032 Summer Games were awarded to Brisbane, Australia, in 2021 without a traditional bid race.

Sweden owns the most Winter Games gold medals and total medals of any nation yet to host a Winter Olympics. It held Summer Games competition twice, in 1912 in Stockholm as the outright host and in 1956 (equestrian events only).

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