SALT LAKE OLYMPICS

Italy’s Milan-Cortina Wins Vote To Host 2026 Winter Olympics

Jun 24, 2019, 11:39 AM
Team Italy celebrates the win of the bid for Olympic Games 2026 during IOC Announcement at SwissTec...
Team Italy celebrates the win of the bid for Olympic Games 2026 during IOC Announcement at SwissTech Convention Center on June 24, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
(Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Italy will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, taking the Winter Games to the Alpine country 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 also included a bobsled track in Latvia.

Milan-Cortina’s jubilant delegation broke into chants of “Italia! Italia!” when the result was announced.

Italy last hosted in Turin in 2006, and the Alpine ski resort Cortina previously hosted the Winter Games in 1956.

Sweden’s spirited late campaign effort was in vain, including the mayor of Stockholm appealing to voters from the stage by singing a lyric from Abba song ‘Dancing Queen’.

A sign of simmering Swedish frustration came minutes later when IOC board member Gunilla Lindberg pushed the limit of Olympic diplomacy ending her team’s 30-minute presentation.

Lindberg challenged her colleagues to reward a new kind of creative, cost-effective bid the IOC has said it wanted — “Or is it just talk?”

Instead, IOC members picked Italy despite a debt-hit economy which faces increasing European Union scrutiny.

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

Both candidates would likely have failed to get this far in previous Olympic bidding contests.

The IOC has relaxed previously strict rules that demanded financial guarantees and government support earlier in the process.

It was an attempt to revive Winter Games bidding with just two candidates on the ballot 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 avoid costly new venues — and potential white elephants — while encouraging regions and multi-nation bids to share the load. Hence, Sweden teamed with Latvia, across the Baltic Sea, rather than build its ice sliding sports venue.

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

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

The IOC will contribute at least $925 million toward Italy’s games operating costs of up to $1.7 billion. Building athlete villages in Milan and Stockholm shaped as the main capital investment and most uncertain ventures in the projects.

Last week, the IOC flagged Stockholm’s village as a risk, and asked for more details of guarantees underwriting the project.

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

The day-long meetings began with each bid in closed-door sessions with IOC members. The Swedish bid was challenged to prove its support from a Stockholm city authority coalition formed last October and a national government only five months ago.

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

Still, a big plus for the Italian bid — uniting Milan, the Alpine ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, and several towns in between — was the IOC’s own polling. It found support from local residents around 85% compared to 60% in Sweden.

The 2026 contest meets the IOC President Thomas Bach’s long-stated wish to return to traditional heartlands for winter sports after major construction projects from 2014-2022 in Russia, South Korea, and China.

The signature Swedish feature using the ice sliding sports track in Sigulda, Latvia, that meets the IOC’s demand to use established sports venues.

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

During the traditionally slick and emotional pleas to be awarded the games, Stockholm mayor Anna Konig Jerlmyr reminded voters of Sweden’s most famous music act.

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

With more gravitas, Nobel Foundation executive director Lars Heikenstein spoke of Olympic values being an inspiration. Olympic leaders have long coveted a Nobel Peace Prize for the organization.

Sweden’s heir to the throne, Crown Princess Victoria, joined a 100-plus delegation at the Swisstech convention center though did not take part on stage.

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

Sweden’s wait for a first Winter Games goes on.

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Salt Lake Olympics

A general view of downtown Salt Lake City at night during the Salt Lake Winter Olympics on February...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Will The Olympic Games Return To Salt Lake City?

Although the Opening Ceremony was the headline at the Olympics in Tokyo Friday, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic committee confirmed that bringing the 2030 Olympic Games to Salt Lake City is on their radar. 
11 months ago
...
KSL TV

SUNDAY EDITION: Utah Looks To Another Olympic Bid; Top Legislative Issues

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Wrapping up week three of the legislative session and we wanted to check in with some of Utah’s representatives to see what is happening. We’ll talk with Representatives Harrison and Romero about air quality, emergency communication, clergy reporting and more. Plus, Utah officially looking to bid for another Olympic games. […]
2 years ago
A general view of downtown Salt Lake City at night during the Salt Lake Winter Olympics on February...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

New Committee Formed For Future Salt Lake Olympic Bid

Officials did not say whether Salt Lake will look to bid for the 2030 or 2034 Games, but they emphasized showing Utah's preparedness to the international community.
2 years ago
The 2002 Winter Olympic Cauldron. (Photo: University of Utah)...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

2002 Olympic Cauldron To Be Temporarily Relocated, Refurbished

The cauldron from the 2002 Winter Olympic Games will be temporarily relocated this week as crews continue construction work to expand Rice-Eccles Stadium.
2 years ago
...
Eddie Pells & Brady McCombs, Associated Press

Salt Lake Chosen As US Candidate City For Future Olympic Games

Salt Lake City will be a candidate for a future winter Olympic games, the United States Olympic Committee announced Friday. The USOC was picking between bids put forth for the games by Salt Lake and Denver.
4 years ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Italy’s Milan-Cortina Wins Vote To Host 2026 Winter Olympics