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OSLO

Stockholm joins race for 2012 Winter Olympics

Stockholm has jumped into the race to stage the 2022 Winter Olympics, immediately becoming Oslo's biggest bidding rival.

Stockholm joins race for 2012 Winter Olympics
AP
In a joint statement issued by members of the Swedish Olympic, Paralympic and the Swedish sports federation they said that a successful bid was only possible if it was "economically feasible."
 
"We could give the world an exciting, innovative project that is both spectacular and be a unique way to bring winter sports into a big city," said the Swedish Olympic Committee in the joint statement.
 
The bid is at a preliminary stage and it is understood that an official bid won't be lodged with the International Olympic Committee until next March.
 
Stockholm's plans come as a blow to Oslo, which yesterday looked the clear favourite after Munich and Davos – its two main competitors – dropped out. 
 
If Stockholm wins, it will be Sweden's first Olympics since it held the summer event in 1912. 
 
It plans to hold the majority of events in the city, with alpine skiing taking place in Åre, 610 kilometres away in the mountains. 
 
A report commissioned by the Swedish Olympic Committee (SOK) estimates that holding the games would cost 9.79 billion kronor ($1.5 billion). 
 
"It (the report) showed that the possibilities are very good  financially, technically and in terms of snow to stage the Games without state funding," added the SOK in the statement.
 
Under IOC rules a certain level of government involvement is required for any country that hosts an Olympic games in order to cover costs if the budget overruns.
 
"It must be economically feasible and does not take resources away from other important areas of society,"  the SOK wrote.
 
A decision as to who hosts the 2022 Olympic Games will be made on July 31st next year in Kuala Lumpur. 
 
Other cities planning to bid include the Ukrainian city of Lvov,  Krakow in Poland, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Beijing in China.  Of those only Almaty has a reputation as a winter sports capital. 

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OSLO

Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

Have your say

Have the new e-scooter rules in Oslo been effective? Let us know in the poll below. 

 

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