Published: Tue, June 25, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

International Olympic Committee begins conference to decide on 2026 Olympics host

International Olympic Committee begins conference to decide on 2026 Olympics host

Italia!" on Monday, and for an obvious reason: "Stockholm-Åre lost out on the chance to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, with the honor going to Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Italy's Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo was chosen to host, beating the Sweden-Ars-Latvia bid. That means two decades will have elapsed since Italy last served as host, during the 2006 Turin games.

Italian snowboarder Michela Moioli, left, and Italian skier Sofia Goggia, right, dab after speaking during the presentation final presentation of the Milan-Cortina candidate cities the first day of the 134th Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), at the SwissTech Convention Centre, in Lausanne, Switzerland, Monday, June 24, 2019. Sweden has never hosted the Winter Games, but Stockholm was the host of the 1912 Summer Games.

"We have budget problems in Italy, but I think that this is something that everyone has", Italian Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti said at an earlier news conference, citing the wealth of the Lombardy and Veneto provinces underwriting the cost of the Games.

"I think the International Olympic Committee is interested in letting the dust settle a little bit from 2026, because it's been a very intensive effort". Long term, the ice arena would be used as a multi-sport arena, National Olympic Committee of Italy President Giovanni Malago told UPI before Monday's election. "Or is it just talk?" she asked.

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"To a person, everyone we have met today - public officials, civil servants, philanthropic leaders, citizens of the community, athletes who call this place home - everyone one of them has said to us, 'We're ready, we're willing, we're able".

The IOC will contribute at least $925 million toward Italy's games operating costs of up to $1.7 billion.

Italy's bid was livened by two Olympic champions, downhill skier Sofia Goggia and snowboarder Michela Moioli, doing a dab gesture and talking of their hopes to compete on home snow in nearly seven years' time.

The IOC praised both candidates for projecting sports budgets "on average 20 per cent lower" than spending on the 2018 and 2022 Games.

As the 2026 bid seemed on shaky ground last summer and fall, questions arose about whether or not Salt Lake could be an emergency host for the 2026 Games in a worst-case scenario for the IOC. Europe, which historically has hosted, by far, the most Olympic Games (32, including those announced but not yet hosted), will have not hosted either from 2012 in London until 2024 in Paris.

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