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Sweden, Italy ready for final sprint of 2026 Winter Olympics

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-06-24 09:40
IOC President Thomas Bach arrives with the Milan Cortina D'Ampezzo 2026 bid delegation including Giovanni Malago CONI President and Giuseppe Sala Mayor of Milan head of the designation of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games host by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on June 23, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LAUSANNE -- Delegations from Sweden and Italy met the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach here on Sunday to show the world they are ready for the final race of bidding to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

The bid by Stockholm/Are of Sweden is facing Italy's Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo in the race to stage the 2026 Winter Games.

Just a day before the IOC decides on who will stage the Games, the two delegations visited the IOC at its museum.

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said Sweden is "ready to host the Winter Olympics".

"We just have a good meeting with president Bach and members of the IOC. Sweden is ready to host the Winter Games in 2026 and the Swedish government fully supports this. We are looking forward to delivering on the new norm," said Lofven.

Swedish high jumper Stefan Holm, the 2004 Olympic champion in Athens and now a member of the IOC, added: " Sweden is politically and economically stable. We never host the (Winter) Games before. We are sports loving people, especially in winter sports. Hopefully it is our turn this time."

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will also be present in Lausanne on Monday. In the absence of Conte on Sunday, the Italian delegation was led by Giovanni Malago, the president of the Italian Olympic Committee.

"For me it is a fantastic bid. It is a unique opportunity concerning the new norm and Agenda 2020. Milan represents not only for me but for the rest of Europe the best city in Europe and perhaps in the world," Malago said.

Italy had ever hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956 in Cortina d'Ampezzo and 2006 in Turin. But Sweden had only hosted the Summer Olympics in 1912 in Stockholm.

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