On June 24th, 2019 it was announced that Italy has outmatched their Swedish opponents in the battle to determine who will host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
On Monday, the 82 members of the International Olympic Committee gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland to listen to the proposals of both countries.
The results of their votes were 47 in favor of the joint offer of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo while 32 voted for the runner up, Stockholm.
Italy, therefore, will return to host the Winter Games for the third time, twenty years after Turin in 2006 and seventy years after they were held in Cortina in 1956.
“A place with great experience, tradition and passion has won, that has always supported Olympic events with great devotion,” says the current President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach.
The games will not only be held in Milan and Cortina, but also in the Italian winter sport resorts of Bormio and Livigno. Starting now, work will be done to ensure they will be under optimal conditions for the races.
To host the Winter Olympics the country will have to build new installations, fix those already existing, make new recreational structures, and establish olympic villages and media centers. According to the calculations of the Sapienza University of Rome these projects will require around 346 million euros worth of investments into Italy.
In this sense, it will not just be a special sports moment for the country, but also can provide a great economic opportunity. The committee is ready to get to work and confident that, with the help of investments to come, it will successfully provide a grand welcoming to athletes and spectators from all nations.
“Long live the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2026,” commented Matteo Salvini, Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, “which created at least 20,000 new job positions, a lot of investments and 5 billion euros worth of value added to Italy.”
Italians appear to be overall excited at the prospect of hosting the games: the public consent was of 80% as opposed to the 55% received in Sweden.
The Winter Olympics will hopefully bring jobs and money flowing into Italy during these years leading up to the games and even more so during the actual event when tourists from all over will travel to Milan, Cortina and the various Alpine where events will be hosted.
At least that’s what Italy’s Olympic Committee and all its supporters believe. They see this as an opportunity to unite the country and strengthen its economy and are determined to take full advantage of it.