Milano Cortina 2026 focus on Olympic venues



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IOC 2026 Milan Cortina Winter Olympics update April 2021 Image: IOC

The second International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission meeting with Milano Cortina 2026 (Italy) was held in the virtual mode recently. Despite the COVID-19 situation still not very bright in Italy, the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee could show significant strides it has been able to make since the previous Coordination Commission meeting in September last year.

The ‘International Olympic Committee (IOC)’ stated that the observation program conducted by the Milano Cortina team at the International Ski Federation (FIS) (highest international governing body for skiing and snowboarding) World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) this winter, which followed the Biathlon World Championships (a Nordic skiing event in which the competitors combine cross-country skiing and rifle shooting) in Antholz (Italy) last year, allowed the Italian organizers not only to visualize what elite competition would look like in 2026 but also to understand the capacities of the local organizers. This desire to work with experienced event organizers in the Olympic venues will be part of Milano Cortina’s identity and an important step in delivering the Games in sync with the Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) organization was formed in Paris (France) in 1894 to conduct, promote and regulate the modern Olympic Games. At the Congress of Paris in 1894, the control and development of the modern Olympic Games were entrusted.

Lausanne (Switzerland)-based IOC is a not-for-profit, civil, non-governmental, international organization made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 percent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organizations at all levels around the world.

The 2026 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXV Olympic Winter Games, and commonly known as Milano Cortina 2026 or Milan Cortina 2026, is a forthcoming international multisport event that is scheduled to take place from February 6th to 22nd, 2026 in the Italian Cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The Olympic Agenda 2020 is a strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement that was launched by IOC President Thomas Bach after his election in September 2013. Building on the results of the previous roadmap, it will guide the work of the IOC and the Olympic Movement for the next five years.

The Olympic Agenda 2020 and its New Norm is an ambitious set of 118 reforms that reimagines how the Olympic Games are delivered. The plan, which focuses on six recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020 related to organizing the Games, will provide Cities with increased flexibility in designing the Games to meet long-term development goals, and will ensure that host Cities receive more assistance from the IOC and the wider Olympic Movement. The plan invites opportunities to reduce venue sizes, rethink transport options, optimize existing infrastructure, and reuse the field of play for various sports.

The ‘International Olympic Committee (IOC)’ further stated that venues were also discussed during the meeting, and the Commission was pleased to hear that a consortium has been chosen to create the masterplan for the Milan Olympic Village.

Concerning the sliding track in Cortina d’Ampezzo, and following the efforts of the Working Group created by the IOC Executive Board to look into this subject, the Coordination Commission once again expressed its concerns with regard to the legacy of the track. It was pointed out that the IOC had made a number of proposals for alternative tracks, none of which were accepted.

On the other hand, the Commission took note that the final plans for the venue are not an investment in a sliding track for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games but are part of a wider entertainment park project that is completely unrelated to the Games. The IOC is, therefore, not in a position to go any further in this discussion, as this is a sovereign decision of the Veneto Region (Italy).

The Commission further informed that the IOC and the Organising Committee has been apprised that this outlay will not form part of the investment budget for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Milano Cortina 2026. The track will, therefore, only be used by the Organising Committee for the duration of the Games. Before and after the Games, the venue will be under the sole authority of the region and will not be run by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) (responsible for the development and management of sports activity in Italy) or the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee.

Discussions are continuing on the Speed Skating Oval, which was also highlighted by the IOC’s Evaluation Commission in its pre-election report.

Speaking after the meeting, Commission Chair Sari Essayah commented, “Since our last meeting in September 2020, the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee has made great progress despite the ongoing pandemic. The most visible highlight was the selection process for the new Milano Cortina 2026 emblem, which saw over 871,000 votes cast. ‘Futura’, the winning emblem, will become one of the most recognizable symbols in Italy over the next five years. I am confident that it will also be one of the most loved.”

She continued, “It is not just in the high-profile areas like the official emblem that Milano Cortina has progressed but also behind the scenes, with a lot of groundwork being laid in areas like engagement, marketing, operations, and venue planning. This hard work has allowed the Milano Cortina organizers to set themselves up to deliver superb Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2026. I congratulate the whole Italian team for their efforts despite the challenging circumstances.”

Milano Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò commented, “I am very pleased with the positive view expressed by the IOC Coordination Commission about Milano Cortina 2026. I would like to thank Chair Sari Essayah and all the members of the Commission for their judgement. My appreciation also goes to the Milano Cortina 2026 team who, in these difficult months of the pandemic, carried on their work with great enthusiasm. Let’s continue on this path: Many challenges await us, but I am sure that we will be ready for them with the professionalism that we are known for by everyone.”

While the successful emblem selection process that saw just over 871,000 votes cast from 169 countries around the world – with around 75 percent of entries selecting ‘Futura’ as their favorite – was a major engagement activity for Milano Cortina this year, it is just the beginning of its engagement plans for the country and beyond. Milano Cortina 2026 presented to the Commission an exciting overview of its engagement strategy that will follow over the coming years, and will engage all generations. This will help to promote the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 and to spread the Olympic and Paralympic values as people engage with the Games. It will also be an important element when Milano Cortina’s commercial program gets underway in the near future.

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