Winter Games in Milan - Olympia back in Europe - Sports
- Milan will host the Winter Olympics in 2026.
- Twenty years after the games in Turin, the sporting event will not only return to Italy, but to a classic winter sports region in Europe.
Thomas Bach made a lot of effort to get over in a good mood. At least the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) tried a few jokes later in the day. After the two candidate cities for the Winter Games in 2026 each had a song integrated into their final presentation, he said he renounced a singing insert: His only musical talent was his last name. And when the IOC members were supposed to test the electronic voting system (question: what is Switzerland known for, chocolate or cows?), Bach snatched the moderation from his general director - who, as a Belgian, was biased towards the chocolate theme.
A little later, Bach did not present himself as a joking confériecier, but as a serious-looking president. Since he announced that the duel for the Winter Games in 2026, the application of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo against those of Stockholm and Åre prevailed. With 47:34 votes won the favored Italian duo against the Swedish. Milan, where the opening ceremony and ice sports are to take place, has never been the venue for the Olympic Games; The Cortina d'Ampezzo ski resort, more than 400 kilometers away by car, has been in operation since 1956. "Italy has won, a whole country that has united and worked together with the claim to make the world an unforgettable event," said Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. And Thomas Bach found that the winner combined "the attractions of a modern European metropolis and a classic alpine environment".
It remains to be seen how things will continue in Milan, Cortina and Italy, where the political situation is so fragile and the economic situation difficult. It is clear that this event is quite important for the image of the IOC. After the three Winter Games organizers Sochi (2014), Pyeongchang (2018) and Beijing (2022), all of which were to open up new markets, but instead brought in a lot of criticism as well as corruption and gigantism issues, and in the case of Beijing will bring in even more , it should definitely go back to a classic winter sports destination. But it was not that easy.
Expiration of election shows transparency deficits
In many countries, such as Canada, Austria or Switzerland, the efforts were stopped by popular referendums. Despite the change rhetoric, the IOC, its conduct, and the expected costs of an Olympic event are powerful deterrents. The double Stockholm / Åre and Milan / Cortina alone remained. But the IOC had to fight hard that these two ever stayed in the race - probably because there were no referendums held there. That at the end of the Italian application won the contract, fits again into the picture. Because the Swedes would like to engage only a few specifications - such as the question of controversial financial guarantees. There was a lot in the application process and now also around the award of the new standard and the new flexibility, which is why games could be quite different than before. 1.4 billion euros are budgeted. In Milan and Cortina 80 percent of the sports facilities already exist, according to the application book. But, for example, in the elderly toboggan and bobsleigh track, the renovation costs are likely to be higher than planned. It was only the second time that IOC President Bach, in his six-year term, announced the outcome of an Olympic Games host-election. Four years ago, Beijing prevailed in the duel for the Winter Games in 2022 against Almaty 44:40, this time Milan against Stockholm. The allocation of the Summer Games 2024 (Paris) and 2028 (Los Angeles) in between, Bach had arranged so that there was only one candidate. Equip four games with only six candidates, so that's Bach's Olympic award record. That also says a lot about the state of the Olympic movement. In addition, only the technical process of choice reveals oddities. When the Games 2022 were awarded four years ago, IOC officials stated that there had been problems with the electronic system during the vote; the members had once again classically ran with slips. Now the sound transmission from the plenum (in which only IOC representatives are allowed to be during the vote) was simply ignored, even before Bach could announce the result of the core question "cows or chocolate." When the 2026 election took place, there was nothing to hear more - according to IOC "a purely technical problem".