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2026 Winter Olympic host: Milan-Cortina

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 6/24/2019 Nick Zaccardi

Thomas Bach holding a sign © AP Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, with Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo winning an IOC vote over a Swedish-Latvian bid centered on Stockholm. 

Milan-Cortina won with 47 votes to Stockholm–Åre’s 34 to become the first Winter Games with multiple official host cities.

The Games return to a traditional European site for the first time since Italy hosted in Torino in 2006 after Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014), PyeongChang (2018) and Beijing (2022).

The two bids were left after five others dropped out for various reasons, all in 2018: Calgary, Canada; Erzurum, Turkey; Sapporo, Japan; Graz, Austria and Sion, Switzerland.

With the 2024 and 2028 Summer Games hosts both decided two years ago (Paris for 2024, Los Angeles for 2028), next up is the 2030 Winter Games. The U.S. has already said that if it bids, it will be with Salt Lake City, which held the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Italy will host the Winter Games for a third time after Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956 and Torino in 2006.

Its bid presentation Monday included all three Italian 2018 Olympic champions speaking — Arianna Fontana (short track), Michela Moioli (snowboard cross) and Sofia Goggia (downhill). The presentation ended with 15-year-old short track speed skater Elisa Confortola addressing more than 80 IOC members.

Italy’s initial bid declaration in March 2018 was for a joint Milan-Torino candidate. Cortina was added within a week to make it a three-pronged bid. By September, Torino dropped out after political infighting. The bid has since remained Milan-Cortina, sites separated by more than 200 miles.

Sweden has finished second or third in all seven of its Winter Olympic bid votes, including six straight from 1984 through 2002, according to the OlyMADMen. Stockholm–Åre was trying to become the first Winter Games held in multiple countries, with Latvia holding bobsled, luge and skeleton.

The IOC praised how both bids fit with Agenda 2020 with 80 percent of the venues already existing or temporary and organizational budgets 20 percent lower than 2018 and 2022 cities. Milan-Cortina had 83 percent public support in Italy, an IOC poll in March found.

More on the Milan-Cortina bid:

Proposed Dates: Feb. 6-22 (Olympics), March 6-15 (Paralympics)

Venues

Milan

 — Figure skating, hockey, short track

Cortina d’Ampezzo (220 miles northeast of Milan) — Alpine skiing (women), bobsled, luge, skeleton, curling, biathlon (Antholz)

Val di Fiemme (160 miles northeast of Milan) — Cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, speed skating (outdoors)

Valtellina (85 miles northeast of Milan) — Alpine skiing (men, Bormio), freestyle skiing, snowboarding 

Ceremonies

Opening Ceremony — San Siro (home of AC Milan and Inter Milan)

Closing Ceremony — Verona Arena (Roman amphitheatre 90 miles east of Milan)

Slogan

“Dreaming Together”

IOC Evaluation Group Report

“Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo combine the advantages of a big European city and those of a popular mountain resort region in the Italian Alps. The candidature benefits from the region’s strong winter sports history, tradition and experience, as well as the Italians’ love and passion for sport. The project can also leverage the economic strength and prosperity of the northern Italian region. While planning is still at an early stage, the project has the potential to achieve the long-term goals of the cities and the region in line with Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm.”

MORE: Tokyo 2020 Olympic master schedule

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