Olympics: Stockholm studies 2026 Winter Games bid

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Stockholm has taken a step towards a bid for hosting the Olympic Winter Games in 2026, the municipality and the Swedish Olympic Committee announced on Friday (Jan 27).

The Swedish capital presented a study that showed 13.6 billion kronor (more than 1.4 billion euros, $1.5 billion) could be spent on hosting the event.

Switzerland, whose government is ready to support a candidacy, is the most advanced rival. Their host city would be Sion, Davos or St. Moritz.

Of all the other cities to show interest in hosting the Games, none has a very detailed project at the moment.

The International Olympics Committee decided in 2016 to lower the costs of hosting the expensive tournament after the billions Russia spent on the 2014 Sochi Games, making it affordable for Stockholm, which retreated from a bid to host the Games in 2022.

If Stockholm becomes the host city, the tournament will be held at the Are ski resort for alpine skiing and Falun city for the ski jump and the Nordic combined.

Swedish Olympic Committee President Hans Vestberg said the study "is an important step forward towards a Swedish application for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2026."

"The study shows that it is both possible and desirable!" he said in a statement.

The Host City of the 2026 Winter Games will be chosen at the 132nd Session of the International Olympic Committee in 2019.

Asia will host the next two Winter Olympics, in 2018 in Pyeongchang (South Korea) and then in Beijing in 2022.