Milan-Cortina 2026: The dream begins here

Milan formally enters bid for the 2026 winter Olympics.

The official, 127-page dossier confirming Milan’s bid to host the 2026 winter Olympics and Paraolympics – together with Cortina – was delivered to the International Olympics Committee in Lausanne on 11 January, throwing down the gauntlet to rival Stockholm-Aare.

The final piece of the puzzle was put in place last week with the national government’s formal approval and underwriting of the bid.  Deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and Lombardy regional governor Attilio Fontana made the announcement in a joint video message broadcast from the panoramic terrace of the Pirellone, seat of the regional government in Milan.

The IOC now has until June to examine the rival bids and make their choice, triggering an eight-year programme of preparations to host thousands of athletes, teams, spectators and media from around the world, with one site being built completely new and the others upgraded for the games.

Milan and Cortina’s joint bid gives all the details of the 14 sites involved, from the opening ceremony at Milan’s Meazza stadium to the closing party at the 1st-century Roman Arena in Verona. 

The sites are grouped into four clusters: Milan will host hockey, skating and short track; Valtellina (Bormio and Stelvio) men’s races, snowboard, free style, speed racing, ski-jumping and cross-country; Cortina will host curling, women’s Alpine, bob and skating, and Anterselva in Alto Adige the biathlon.

Details of the dossier and updated news on the progress of the bid appear on the official Milan-Cortina Olympics website, launched at the significant hour of 20:26 in the evening of 11 January.

In 2006 Sestriere, another Italian Alpine ski resport, but close to Turin rather than Milan, hosted the 2006 winter Olympics.