Italy selected to host 2026 Winter Olympics

The International Olympic Committee announced Monday that Italy’s bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics has been accepted.

The games will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, IOC President Thomas Bach revealed during the announcement ceremony.

After a daylong conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, which included presentations and questioning in closed-door sessions, the IOC selected Milan-Cortina over Swedish rivals Stockholm-Are to host the games.

Italian delegation members celebrate after Italy won the bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games at the meeting of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.Phillippe Lopez / Pool via Reuters

The vote was held at the SwissTech conference center where the IOC had decided in July 2017 that the 2024 Olympics and 2028 Olympics would be held in Paris and Los Angeles, respectively. The announcement Monday about Italy being picked was broadcast on giant screens at the Piazza Gae Aulenti in Milan, as well as in Piazza Angelo Di Bona in Cortina.

Piazza Garibaldi in Sondrio, Italy, which is between Milan and Cortina, also broadcast the announcement.

A public announcement wasn’t planned in Sweden.

Eighty-three members of the IOC were eligible to vote on the location of the 2026 Winter Olympics, but President Thomas Bach abstained from the vote, leaving a total of 82 votes. However, Bach was able to cast a vote if there was a tie between the two cities. Voters included the Emir of Qatar and Princess Anne of Britain.

The Milan-Cortina bid won 47 votes and Stockholm-Are received 34 votes. One voter abstained.

“They are two of the richest provinces in Europe. They certainly have the capacity, they have the readiness, they have the finances in order to be able to support the event,” Italy Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti said, despite Italy’s debt load being the second highest in Europe behind Greece.

On Monday afternoon, ahead of the announcement, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stressed his country’s desire to host the 2026 games.