Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò has been mooted to lead the organizing committee should the joint Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo bid be chosen to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Local media reports including ANSA said Tuesday that Malagò has been informed by government officials that he will be called upon should the Italian bid defeat its only rival – a joint Stockholm-Are bid from Sweden – when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes on June 24.
“If we win the Olympics (bid), the president of the organizing committee will come from CONI and (undersecretary with responsibility for sport, Giancarlo) Giorgetti has said it will be me,” Malagò reportedly said.
He added “the CEO, on the other hand, will be a manager with international skills who will be appointed in agreement with the local authorities.”
The news came only hours after a spectacular police operation resulted in arrests of 43 people in Milan and the Lombardy region, many of them public officials. Prosecutors say they were involved in accepting bribes from “Mafia-like” groups to award major public construction contracts.
Lombardy President Attilio Fontana denied that the new allegations will impact the bid, he said Tuesday “If someone has made mistakes I don’t think it can affect the Olympic bid.”
Tuesday morning Milan-Cortina stakeholders presented the bid by teleconference to members of the Association of International Olympic WinterSports Federations (AIOWF) who are gathered in Brisbane, Australia attending the annual SportAccord Convention.
From Rome, Malago said “the call went very well.”
He added “in my opinion they were impressed by the solidarity of the Italian team. It was a nice moment in our country, it seemed there was no kind of controversy or opposition.”
Only CONI Secretary General Carlo Mornati was in Brisbane representing the Italian bid.
The Stockholm-Åre 2026 bid was also given the short opportunity to present to the federations, the final such opportunity until the final day of the of the race.
Bid Chief Richard Brisius and Swedish Olympic Committee President Mats Arjes were scheduled to be in Australia for the conference.
Skiing and snowboard superstars and Olympic Champions Alberto Tomba, Sofia Goggia and Michela Moioli will travel with the Italian bid to Lausanne, Switzerland for the final presentation to promote the project ahead of the decision in June.
According to Repubblica, the bid team will be suited-up with Giorgio Armani apparel and presentation music will be composed by Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.