In June, the IOC will make the final decision regarding the host of the winter edition in 2026. Stockholm-Åre is the bookies’ favorite, but Milan-Cortina d’Amparezzo has a good record. Italy’s bid might also be a good bet on the 2026 Winter Olympics host.
Every country seeks the opportunity to be part of the multi-sport event. And hosting it is of no less importance. However, The IOC has recently been facing a crisis, as many cities are dropping out their bids.
The modern reluctance of hosting the Olympics
As the years pass by, fewer countries are willing to host the Olympic games. Some have blamed the troubled Montreal event in 1976 – which led to 30 years of debt. Others might blame it on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The large $51 billion budget set the bar very high for the next countries who will be hosting the event.
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Citizens are becoming more and more aware of the financial downsides of hosting the Olympics. Calgary has just become the 11th city to withdraw from the bid, after a referendum. The Canadians followed the Swiss of Sion who also chose not to pursue with the candidature.
But with the two remaining joint bids, the Committee has the opportunity to get back to historic places. Italy and Sweden are two of the 12 countries that participated in every edition of the Winter Olympics. And online sportsbook sites in Sweden are optimistic about the IOC’s final decision.
Hosting a big sports event is very complex and takes years of preparation. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing, but you can already place a bet on the next locations, such as the 2032 Summer Olympics.
Sweden is the safest bet on the 2026 Winter Olympics host
The Scandinavians are prepared to host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Stockholm and Åre. If this happens, the capital will become the second city after Beijing to host both the Summer and the Winter Games. The joint-bid was initially planned for the 2022 Winter Olympics. However, due to financial reasons, the Swedish Committee decided to postpone the project.
Sweden is experienced with winter sports and has most of the venues needed. Stockholm was home to 7 of the 8 editions of the Nordic Games – the predecessor of the Winter Olympics. And the city also hosted the Summer Olympics in 1912. For the occasion, they built the Olympic Stadium, which is still in use and ready to host some of the 2026 Winter Olympics’ events.
The country will also be hosting for the first time the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2021, taking place in Åre and Östersund. Besides, this year’s World Ski Championships will be in Åre, which confirms the good conditions of the ski resort. Meanwhile, Sigulda, in Latvia, will host the sliding competitions.
Swedish have been craving for some bigger events for a while. However, the recent turbulent political situation has left some citizens with some doubts regarding the country’s political and economic stability to organize such an event. But the Swedish Olympic Committee insists that there won’t be any public funds needed. In fact, the committee has released a statement, saying,
“We believe this approach is tailor-made for the IOC’s new reality going forward. Stockholm 2026 will set new standards in every aspect of sustainability, not only for our Games but for Winter Games thereafter.”
The country is definitely prepared to host the event and its odds of winning the Olympic bid are 1.50 at 22BET Sportsbook.
The Italians have been consolidating their experience in sports events
Milan is one of the most important sports cities in the world, having hosted some of the biggest events. Actually, in 2018, it was the “stage” of the World Figure Skating Championship.
Concerning winter sports, Cortina d’Amparezzo is a very important site. Not only will it be hosting the World Ski Championship in 2021, but it was also the host of the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. And, in 1960, Italy had also hosted the Summer Olympics in Rome.
The winter edition was mostly successful while escaping the political turmoil that would mark the year. The organization was the first to build Olympic venues with television in mind, as they were the first Winter Games to have an international broadcast. And the 1981 James Bond film For Eyes Only used three of these venues as filming locations.
As a result, Italy would only need to build one venue for the event in 2026. Financial questions obviously arise. But if Italy hosts the 2026 Winter Olympics, the wealthy governments of Lombardy and Veneto will step forward, along with private funding.
Cortina d’Amparezzo will host the alpine and sliding events. While Milan and its surroundings will hold skating sports, hockey, snowboarding and freestyle skiing.
The Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago says,
“the efficiency of a great metropolis with the charm of the mountains. It is a great display of teamwork with a single goal: to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to Italy.”