Milan-Cortina Chosen as 2026 Winter Olympics Host Site over Stockholm-Are

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2019

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach shows the card with the name Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo as the winning name of the 2026 Winter Olympics during the 134th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Lausanne on June 24, 2019. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Winter Olympics are heading back to Italy.

Milan-Cortina will host the 2026 Winter Games, 20 years after Turin served as the host city in 2006. 

Olympics @Olympics

Milan-Cortina will host the Olympic Winter Games 2026 #MilanCortina2026 #WinterOlympics @milanocortina26 https://t.co/3Ch9lf3Vxe

Italy defeated a joint bid from Sweden and Latvia, with Stockholm and Are vying to serve as host areas and Latvia's Sigulda prepared to host bobsled, luge and skeleton events. Sweden surprisingly has yet to host a Winter Games, with Stockholm serving as the host city for the 1912 Summer Olympics.  

Italy, meanwhile, has hosted the Winter Games in both Turin (2006) and Cortina (1956), and the Summer Games in Rome (1960).

As for the 2026 Games, Italy still has some work to do. According to the Associated Press (h/t PBS.org), "Milan needs to build a hockey arena with private funding. An athlete village in the city is planned anyway for university student housing. The IOC's efficiency drive means it wants Bormio cut as the men's Alpine ski venue, and the women's venue Cortina used instead."

And Jere Longman of the New York Times reported that the initial budget for the 2026 Games is $1.7 billion, but "these costs always rise, often significantly." Additionally, "The International Olympic Committee has pledged to contribute $925 million to organizers from television rights, corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and merchandising."

The next Winter Games will be held in Beijing in 2022.