International Olympic Committee elects Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo as host for 2026 Winter Olympics


Lausanne: Italy will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, taking the Winter Games to the Alpine nation for the second time in 20 years.

International Olympic Committee members voted for the long-favored Milan-Cortina bid over Stockholm-Are from Sweden that additionally included a bobsled observe in Latvia.

Milan-Cortina’s jubilant delegation broke into chants of “Italia! Italia!” when the outcome was introduced. Italy final hosted in Turin in 2006, and the Alpine ski resort Cortina beforehand hosted the Winter Games in 1956.

Giuseppe Sala, Giovanni Malago, Attilio Fontana, Giancarlo Giorgetti, Diana Bianchedi, Luca Zaia, Thomas Bach and Gianpietro Ghedina pose after the announcement of Milano and Cortina as hosts.

Sweden’s spirited late marketing campaign effort was in useless, together with the mayor of Stockholm interesting to voters from the stage by singing a lyric from Abba music ‘Dancing Queen’.

An indication of simmering Swedish frustration got here minutes later when IOC board member Gunilla Lindberg pushed the restrict of Olympic diplomacy ending her group’s 30-minute presentation.

Lindberg challenged her colleagues to reward a brand new sort of inventive, cost-effective bid the IOC has mentioned it needed — “Or is it just talk?”

Instead, IOC members picked Italy regardless of a debt-hit economic system which faces rising European Union scrutiny.

“We submit with full confidence to your judgment,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte advised voters.

Both candidates would possible have didn’t get this far in earlier Olympic bidding contests.

The IOC has relaxed beforehand strict guidelines that demanded monetary ensures and authorities assist earlier within the course of.

It was an try to revive Winter Games bidding with simply two candidates on the poll paper for the second straight time, since Russia spent $51 billion on venues and infrastructure for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Now, the IOC seeks to keep away from expensive new venues — and potential white elephants — whereas encouraging areas and multi-nation bids to share the load. Hence, Sweden teamed with Latvia, throughout the Baltic Sea, reasonably than construct its ice sliding sports activities venue.

“We have budget problems in Italy but I think that this is something that everyone has,” Italy Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti mentioned at an earlier information convention, citing the wealth of the Lombardy and Veneto provinces underwriting the video games prices.

“They are two of the richest provinces in Europe. They certainly have the capacity, they have the readiness, they have the finances in order to be able to support the event,” Giorgetti mentioned.

The IOC will contribute no less than $925 million towards Italy’s video games working prices of as much as $1.7 billion. Building athlete villages in Milan and Stockholm formed as the primary capital funding and most unsure ventures within the tasks.

Last week, the IOC flagged Stockholm’s village as a danger, and requested for extra particulars of ensures underwriting the mission.

“A letter of intent is as important to us as any contract,” Volvo chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg mentioned within the formal presentation, in what appeared a rebuke to the Olympic physique.

The day-long conferences started with every bid in closed-door periods with IOC members. The Swedish bid was challenged to show its assist from a Stockholm metropolis authority coalition shaped final October and a nationwide authorities solely 5 months in the past.

Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven mentioned he assured voters “it’s in the Swedish model, it’s in our DNA” to ship a steady Winter Games.

Still, an enormous plus for the Italian bid — uniting Milan, the Alpine ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, and a number of other cities in between — was the IOC’s personal polling. It discovered assist from native residents round 85% in comparison with 60% in Sweden.

The 2026 contest meets the IOC President Thomas Bach’s long-stated want to return to conventional heartlands for winter sports activities after main development tasks from 2014-2022 in Russia, South Korea, and China.

The signature Swedish characteristic utilizing the ice sliding sports activities observe in Sigulda, Latvia, that meets the IOC’s demand to make use of established sports activities venues.

The IOC has praised each candidates for projecting sports activities budgets “on average 20% lower” than spending on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and 2022 Beijing Olympics.

During the historically slick and emotional pleas to be awarded the video games, Stockholm mayor Anna Konig Jerlmyr reminded voters of Sweden’s most well-known music act.

“Abba is everywhere,” she mentioned, earlier than singing the lyric: “You can dance, you can dance, having the time of your life.”

With extra gravitas, Nobel Foundation government director Lars Heikenstein spoke of Olympic values being an inspiration. Olympic leaders have lengthy coveted a Nobel Peace Prize for the group.

Sweden’s inheritor to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria, joined a 100-plus delegation on the Swisstech conference centre although didn’t participate on stage.

Italy’s bid was livened by two Olympic champions, downhill skier Sofia Goggia and snowboarder Michela Moioli, doing a dab gesture and speaking of their hopes to compete on house snow in nearly seven years’ time.

Sweden’s look forward to a primary Winter Games goes on.

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