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Olympics: Stockholm adds its name to Olympic hopefuls

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Swedish Olympic Committee announced the Stockholm bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday.

The committee said in a statement that it had submitted an application to the International Olympic Commitee (IOC), ahead of the Thursday deadline.

Located on low-lying land far from the mountains, the capital city plans to co-host events with Aare ski resort, about 300 miles (500 km) to the north west.

"If ongoing investigations prove that the project is viable then a (detailed) application will be submitted to the IOC on March 14, 2014. Then it would be added to in January 2015, at which point the issue of state guarantees would be dealt with," the committee explained in a statement.

Brushing aside scepticism regarding the city's chances, the committee said that it had strong support from the country's sports community, but conceded that more work was needed before a detailed application could be made.

"Before we make a final decision to apply for the Winter Olympics the technical and financial conditions need to be further investigated," it said.

Sweden's sports minister Lena Adelsohn Roth has been reluctant to agree to providing state financial guarantees and expressed doubts again on Monday.

"I think it's good to host big events but we're doubtful about the budget they've presented," she told daily Dagens Nyheter, echoing earlier comments that the state thought the budget was over-optimistic and was unwilling to take the risk.

A general election is due in September 2014 and the government is trailing in the polls, however the opposition have not indicated whether they would be more supportive of the bid.

The deadline for applicant cities to present their bids is Thursday.

Beijing, Lviv (Ukraine), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Krakow (with events held in other Polish locations and in neighbouring Slovakia) have already done so, and Oslo is also expected to present a bid.

The host city will be elected at the 127th International Olympic Committee's session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015.

Sweden has only been an Olympic host nation once, when the 1912 Summer Olympics were held in Stockholm.

When asked whether the Stockholm candidacy had been influenced by Munich pulling out of the race, a spokesman for the Swedish bid said it had "nothing to do" with the decision.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131111/olympics-stockholm-adds-its-name-olympic-hopefuls