Italy to host 2026 Olympics

Italy to host 2026 Olympics

Italy has won the right to host the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo was chosen ahead of Stockholm Åre at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Lausanne on Monday afternoon.

The Italian bid saw off its Swedish rival by 13 votes, with 47 of the 82 voting members backing their bid.

The 2026 Games will be the second Winter Olympics to be held in Italy in the last 20 years after Turin 2006 and the third in total after Cortina hosted the global showpiece in 1956.

The bobsleigh and skeleton events will take place at the Eugenio Monti Olympic Track, named after the Italian bobsledder who won six Olympic medals and 10 more at World Championship level between 1956 and 1968.

The track hosted the 1956 Olympic bobsleigh and skeleton events and was last used for the World Championships (bobsleigh only) in 1999 before, closing in 2008.

If Stockholm had been successful in its bid, the bobsleigh and skeleton races would have taken place in Sigulda in Latvia.

British Skeleton will hope for another Olympic medal on Italian ice after Shelley Rudman won Olympic silver in Turin 13 years ago, while British Bobsleigh won World Championship gold and silver in Cortina in 1937 and 1939 respectively.

“Congratulations to Milan-Cortina. We can look forward to an outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country,” said IOC President, Thomas Bach.

The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world. 

“The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment.”

Milan-Cortina will also host the Paralympic Winter Games 2026 - an event at which both para bobsleigh and para skeleton hope to be a part of for the first time.

The Olympic Winter Games in the two Italian cities are scheduled for February 6 to 22, with the Winter Paralympics following from March 6 to 15.