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Saturday July 7, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

The Italian government will support one of three cities considering a bid, but the choice by the National Olympic Commitee has been postponed.

A proposal over the city to lead Italy's bid to host 2026 Winter Games and Paralympic Games was considered on Tuesday in Rome before a General Assembly.

But the final decision over which city will lead the attempt to host the Games was postponed until 1st August or 10th September.

Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo are in the running for the proposal to be sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"The name of the bid city will be decided at the next meeting of the National Council (General Assembly), after a specific Evaluation Committee, named by the National Board...has examined in detail the three feasibility studies and drawn up a report," a statement sent to insidethegames today read.

There is much interest in this Italian bid following the collapse of the Swiss and Austrian attempts in recent weeks.
Italy's Olympic Committee has said it will evaluate "strategic reasons" for each bid, as well as considering the international appeal, and ( reports): a cost/benefit ratio, legacy plans, City Council and wider provincial or regional political support.

CONI General Secretary Carlo MornatiCONI General Secretary Carlo Mornati

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala said Tuesday prior to the meeting that he was not optimistic a choice would be made then.

"The Council of Ministers has expressed its willingness to guarantee the Government's support for the Italian candidature," said an Italian Government statement earlier. 

It said it will leave the decision of which one to back to the country's National Olympic Committee. 

The government has said the chosen project should have reduced costs and a clear legacy benefit. 

At the moment Milan appears to be the front-runner. 

All three have now submitted Feasibility Studies to the Italian National Olympic Committee and a decision of which one to back is due to be made on Tuesday, July 10th. 

Calgary in Canada, Sapporo in Japan, Erzurum in Turkey and Stockholm in Sweden are other cities still in the bidding process for the 2026 Games.

However last week Graz in Austria pulled out.

End of the bidEnd of the bid

The Austrian Olympic Committee, ÖOC, made the announcement saying the Provincial government has not offered its support to holding the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"On the basis of the current political discussions, the ÖOC has to note with great regret that a clear political commitment or support from the Styrian provincial government - considered by the ÖOC from the outset as compulsory - has not yet taken place," the Austrian Olympic Committee said in a statement.

"Under these circumstances, a project of this dimension is not feasible and internationally hardly acceptable. The ÖOC has therefore today informed the IOC that the ongoing application talks will be terminated in order to avoid any further costs."

It follows the withdrawl of Innsbruck after the people in the Tirol voted against it in a referendum.
Last month Sion in Switzerland also pulled out after a vote.
Earlier this month on PlanetSKI we raised questions over the 2026 Games:
"We regret that our top athletes and the winter sports fans this unique opportunity, a home games, will not happen in the near future," ÖOC President Karl Stoss and ÖOC secretary general Peter Mennel said in a joint statement.

The latest withdrawal raises further questions about the future of the Games in Europe:
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