Yesterday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted for Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Milan-Cortina and Stockholm-Åre were left from four other bidders including Sion in Switzerland, Sapporo in Japan, Graz in Austria and Calgary in Canada. It was the difference of 13 votes (Milan-Cortina 47 votes and Stockholm 34 votes) that meant the return of the Winter Olympics in Italy, previously hosted in 2006 at the Turin Olympic Games and in Cortina in 1956.
Although Stockholm has never held the Winter Games before, Milan-Cortina’s plan aligns with the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms which assert the sustainability of making the most out of pre-existing or temporary venues if there is no request for facilities post Games. 93% of its venues for the Games will be pre-existing or temporary, treasuring the Games’ legacy and sustainability values. The city and ski resort already has world class winter sport venues that include Milan’s ice arenas as well as the World Championships and World Cup destinations of Cortina, the ‘Queen of the Dolomites’, Val di Fiemme, Bormio and Antholz which have all been long established. Winter sports have also been a huge part of Northern Italy’s heritage, especially Cortina, with a cultural and international reputation.
The IOC President Thomas Bach states “We can look forward to the outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country;” later adding “The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment.”
Milan will host skating sports and ice hockey and Cortina ski resort will host the alpine skiing and snowboarding events whilst other events will also be held in the resorts of Livigno and Bormio.
The 2026 Games are to take place from the 6th to the 22nd February and the Paralympics to take place the following month from the 6th to the 15th.