January 17 - Stockholm has abandoned its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the city's Mayor announced today.
It followed a decision by the Swedish capital's ruling Moderate party not to back the campaign because of the potential cost of building new facilities.
"Arranging a Winter Olympics would mean a big investment in new sports facilities, for example for the bobsleigh and luge," the Moderate party said in a statement.
"There isn't any need for that type of that kind of facility after an Olympics."
Stockholm's withdrawal leaves five bidders in the race - Almaty, Beijing, Kraków, Lviv and Oslo.
There had been doubts since the bid was launched last November over whether Stockholm - who have not hosted the Olympics since 1912 when they staged the Summer Games - had the necessary financial backing.
"It is always nicer to say yes than no, but it is in our mandate to make tough decisions," Stockholm Mayor Sten Nordin from the Moderate party said.
"Unfortunately we are of the opinion that it's not realistic to make a bid for the 2022 Olympics,
"This isn't a no to other Winter Olympics in the future."
The project had already been rejected by two of the Moderates' coalition partners, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats.
"Bidding for the Olympics in the current situation would entail too much speculation with taxpayers' money," Christian Democrat leaders Ewa Samuelsson and Erik Slottner said in a statement.
The decision to withdraw came shortly after the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) had posted a note on its website inviting stakeholders to a meeting on January 27 to review the financial plans for the bid.
"We regret the decision and have no further comment," said Stefan Lindeberg, President of the SOK.
Besides the cost of hosting the Games, there were also some concerns over the fact low-lying Stockholm would have to co-host the event with Åre ski resort, about 300 miles to the north west.
The race for 2022 has been marked with European cities pulling out or being denied the opportunity to bid because of opposition expressed in local referendums amid fears that the Games would cost too much.
Among those who decided not to bid following defeats in polls was Munich and a joint proposal from Davos/St Moritz.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) played down Stockholm's decision to withdraw.
"I note that those who took the decision made it absolutely clear that this was not a 'no' to any future bid," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.
"Indeed, I understand they remain strongly interested in staging the Games and are considering bidding again perhaps with a stronger bid for 2026.
"For the 2022 contest there remain five strong candidates and we look forward to a good contest to stage the Olympic Winter Games,"
The host city is due to be chosen by the IOC at its Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015.
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