2026 Winter Games in Stockholm is "desirable"

STOCKHOLM (AP) Stockholm staging the 2026 Winter Olympics is ''possible and desirable,'' the Swedish Olympic Committee said Friday.

Chairman Hans Vestberg said a report presented by the Swedish capital about hosting the games was ''an important step'' toward a formal bid, expected in March 2018.

The work was ''pretty positive,'' Swedish Sports Minister Gabriel Wikstrom told news agency TT.

In 2015, Stockholm pulled out the race for the 2022 Games after Swedish politicians refused to give financial backing. Swedish politicians were uncomfortable because of concerns over costs, the environment, post-games use of venues and other issues.

This time, committee member Anette Norberg said ''we have great respect for the economic, social and environmental issues which must involve sustainable solutions.''

According to the feasibility study, 80 percent of the events would be in Stockholm, while most of the Alpine competitions would be in the northern resort of Are, more than 600 kilometers (400 miles) from the capital. A few skiing events would be in Falun, 215 kilometers (130 miles) northwest from there.

The report has a budget of approximately 13.6 billion kronor ($1.5 billion), with the International Olympic Committee chipping in with some 6.7 billion kronor ($760 million).

''We have good capacity within the existing infrastructure and modern winter sports facilities,'' said city council member Emilia Bjuggren, adding that there is already ''a (popular) demand and great interest'' for facilities needed in connection with Winter Games, such as a skating hall and cross-country skiing.

Stockholm staged the 1912 Summer Olympics but never a Winter Games.

The cities of Ostersund, Falun and Goteborg have all mounted failed winter bids.

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