Sweden mulls 2026 Winter Games bid after aborted '22 effort

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) Stockholm is mulling a run for the 2026 Winter Olympics based on the concept of its aborted bid for the 2022 Games.

Swedish Olympic Committee spokesman Bjorn Folin said Thursday there were ''no concrete plans'' yet but the issue had been discussed at the committee's annual meeting earlier this week.

Folin said the committee plans to set up group in the fall of 2015 to look into the scrapped ''old concept'' and ''see what can be used again.''

''Our understanding is that there is a clearer interest among politicians for it than there was before,'' Folin told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ''We have it all: infrastructure, the facilities, transportation, everything. Little needs to be added.''

Stockholm pulled out the race for the 2022 Games last year after Swedish politicians refused to give financial backing, the first of four contenders to withdraw. Swedish politicians were uncomfortable because of concerns over costs, the environment, post-games use of venues, the environment and other issues.

Also pulling out of the 2022 contest were Oslo; Krakow, Poland; and Lviv, Ukraine. The two remaining candidates are Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, with the IOC to select the host city on July 31.

In Stockholm's aborted 2022 bid, one of the biggest planned investments was for raising the height of an existing ski slope in the city to meet criteria for the slalom. Most of the Alpine events would be held in the northern Swedish resort of Are, more than 600 kilometers (400 miles) from the capital.

Sweden said later it would not have pulled out of the 2022 race had it known then about the changes in the bidding process planned by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC approved a revamped procedure in December to make bidding for, and hosting, the games less expensive and more flexible.

''We have plenty of time as the bid - if any - would have to be made in 2019,'' Folin said.

The 2026 host city will be selected in 2019. However, bids will have to be submitted to the IOC by 2017.

Stockholm, which hosted the 1912 Summer Olympics, has never staged the Winter Games. Ostersund, Falun and Goteborg have all mounted failed winter bids.

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