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REACTION AS ITALY GETS 2026 OLYMPICS - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday June 24, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The bid from Milan-Cortina has triumphed. It beat Stockholm-Åre in Sweden to host the next but one Winter Games.


The decision was announced by the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne on Monday.

It will be the first Winter Olympics and Paralympics to be held on the continent of Europe since Sochi in 2014 and the third in Italy's history.

The Winter Olympics haven't been in the Alps since 2006, when they were held in Turin, Italy.

Italian media has welcomed the decision.

The headline of La Gazetto dello Sport reads "SÌ giochiamo" or "Let's play".

"A Milan miracle" was how La Repubblica reported it.

Il Messaggero said "Giochi di squadra" or "team play".

Large screens in Milan's Piazza Gae Aulenti and Piazza Angelo di Bona in Cortina broadcast the IOC announcement live to the delight of hundreds of cheering Italians.

In Britain the GB nordic athlete, Andrew Musgrave, has welcomed the news on Twitter.

Andrew Musgrave Retweeted Team GB

The Olympics are back to Europe in 2026 🙌 I guess I'll have to keep going until 2026 then 🤷‍♂️


And there has been reaction from our readers over on Facebook:


Facebook reactionFacebook reaction




























The announcement by the IOC President, Thomas Bach, prompted wild celebrations by the Italian contingent.

Italians celebratingHappy Italians













The Italian joint bid by Milan and the alpine ski resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo was the clear favourite with greater popular support, government backing and stronger financial guarantees.

It was seen as the front runner after scoring most highly in the IOC's Evaluation Commission report, which was published in May.

And when the Evaluation Commission told the IOC Session in Lausanne today that it stood by its verdict, it was undoubtedly a boost for Milan-Cortina.

But you never can be sure.

It would all come down to how the 82 available votes were cast.

All that was needed was a simple majority.

There were 47 votes for Milan-Cortina and 34 for Stockholm-Åre.

One IOC member abstained.

The Italian Olympic Committee responded on Twitter, declaring the dream to be a reality...

Shortly after, it became official.

The Italians and the IOC President, Thomas Bach, signed the host city contract.

Signing of the 2026 host city contractIt's official

Thomas Bach made it quite clear that he was delighted to see the Games going back to a country with a strong winter sports pedigree.

"This is a great day because we have the Winter Olympic Games 2026 in a traditional winter sports country with great experience in winter sport, with passionate fans and great athletes," he said at a news conference.

The International Ski Federation, FIS, has welcomed the news.

"FIS is very much looking forward to excellent Olympic Winter Games 2026 in Italy," the FIS President Gian Franco Kasper said.

"We have a strong history with Italy, as they are regular hosts of numerous important, high-profile events on the FIS competition calendar including our marquee event, the FIS World Ski Championships with Cortina being the host of the upcoming 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships and Val di Fiemme having hosted the 2013 edition of the Nordic World Ski Championships."

Earlier, the two candidates had made their final presentations to the IOC members ahead of the vote.

Their delegations in the auditorium waved national flags and were vocal in their support.

Support for SwedenSupport for Sweden














Support for ItalySupport for Italy













Milan-Cortina focused on its culture, history, the beauty of the Dolomites and its experience in hosting world-class winter sporting events.

And, of course, its support among more than 80% of the Italian public.

A recent poll suggested that 63% of Swedes were in favour of the Games being held there.

Stockholm-Åre put much emphasis on its bid's sustainability, inclusivity and reliability, suggesting it was in the best position to drive the reforms demanded by the IOC.

"If I am here today in front of you, it is thanks to the enthusiasm of all Italy," the country's Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, said.

Italian PM Giuseppe ConteThe Italian PM addresses the IOC

















"It is thanks to the big contribution in this project of all Italian citizens.

"We will work hard and commit ourselves to ensure the event will be remembered in sport history.

"This is the dream of an entire country, and not only the Government but also the regions.

"The cities are fully committed to supporting this project."

Two of Italy's snowsport stars of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, spoke in support of the bid.

Alpine skier Sofia Goggia won gold in the downhill South Korea, while Michela Moioli is the reigning Olympic Snowboard Cross champion.

Michela Moioli & Sofia GoggiaMichela Moioli (left) & Sofia Goggia











Sweden also sent a large delegation of Olympic and World Champions.

They included the alpine skier Frida Hansdotter and ski cross athlete Anna Holmlund.

The Prime Minister Stefan Löfven insisted Stockholm Åre 2026 was the best choice to bring the IOC's reforms, aimed at cutting the cost of the Games, to reality.

Sweden's PM, Stefan LofvenSweden's PM addresses the IOC













"Sweden will almost exclusively use existing infrastructure and arenas," the Prime Minister said, adding: "While organising great games, we can at the same time end the age of extremely costly Olympics that threaten welfare spending and leave a trail of underutilised structures and public resentment.

"You wanted change and that is our offer.

"We will deliver this change."

It was not enough.

While Sweden was the underdog, the decision will come as a big disappointment.

It's the country's eighth unsuccessful bid for a Winter Games.

The 2026 Winter Olympics very nearly turned into the Games that no-one wanted.

A string of potential hosts pulled out after failing to win public support and following concern at the costs.

The Austrian cities of Innsbruck and Graz, Sion in Switzerland and Calgary in Canada all fell by the wayside.

Only two remained at the end.

. 2026 Winter Olympic biddersThe two final candidates








Both had their issues but they hung in there and came back fighting.


The 2026 Games will be the third Winter Olympics to take place in Italy.

Cortina d'Ampezzo hosted the 1956 Games and Turin the 2006 Games.

Turin Winter Olympics 2006Italy last held the Winter Olympics in 2006
















The Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics will take place from 6th to 22nd February, 2026.

The Paralympics will be from 6th to 15th March, 2026.

In the meantime, let's not forget that we have another Winter Olympics before then.

It's coming up in less than three years in China.

Olympic ringsThe IOC has spoken

It was a tepid campaign that will be remembered for the number of cities that dropped out after the public rejected hosting the Games in public votes - Sion, Innsbruck and Calgary.

See here for an analysis from PlanetSKI editor, James Cove.

James Cove, PlanetSKI editorJames Cove, PlanetSKI editor















For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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