Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò believes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluation report on the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic bid provides a significant boost heading into the final month of the campaign.
The 144-page report published Friday extolled the quality of both the Italian bid and its only rival from Sweden, Stockholm-Åre. The IOC outlined that both projects leveraged the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms to deliver sustainable bids using existing high quality venues operated by experienced teams.
The report concluded that the bid, using facilities spread across northern Italy, meets all the criteria required by the IOC.
Malagò said “We were confident before, but now we are even more so and this instills a significant boost to our action.”
“There is great satisfaction in the results of the report drafted by the IOC Evaluation Committee on the candidacy of Milan Cortina for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.
“We were sure that we had done a good job, with great effort and passion, thanks to fantastic teamwork, the support of the government and the extraordinary collaboration between the various sports, institutional and territorial players.”
The report was based on a bid book submitted in January and an on site visit conducted in April.
Italy’s bid seemed in danger when the national government initially refused to guarantee the bid and provide funding to the project. The IOC extended the January deadline for bids to provide signed guarantees and it wasn’t until just days before the new April cut-off date that Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte provided a signature to underwrite the proposed Games.
Sweden’s project received a government endorsement shortly after, ensuring that both bids could be printed on the final ballot when IOC members vote for a winner in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 24.
Italy is considered to have a slight technical edge over Sweden with higher public support, and both regional and national guarantees to fund the project while the Stockholm government won’t officially endorse its project.
But Stockholm appears to be the sentimental favorite with Sweden, a successful winter sports nation, never hosting the Winter Games. Italy last hosted in Turin in 2006 and in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 1956.
It will ultimately be up to over 90 IOC members to decide who will host in 2026 when they cast their ballots.
“We need to keep working intensely to enthusiastically promote the content of an ambitious and futuristic project, in line with the 2020 Agenda and with the reforms enacted by the IOC, a faithful reflection of the great desire of the cities, the regions, the territories involved and the entire country to host the Olympics,” Malagò said in a statement.