Italy eyes 2026 Winter Olympics

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Italy will officially submit its bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics with a dual candidacy involving the northern cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Monday.

“I am happy to officially announce the CONI will keep working on the candidacy of Milan and Cortina in order to host the XXV Olympic Winter Games with the political support of the government,” CONI’s chief Giovanni Malago said in an official statement.

“We are submitting an innovative project, which abides by the guidelines of the 2020 Agenda (an official roadmap providing recommendations for future Olympics), and involves not only Milan and Cortina, but also their respective regions Lombardy and Veneto,” Malago added in the letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

On Thursday, the mayors of the two northern cities and the governors of Lombardy and Veneto will hold their first meeting in Venice to discuss the joint plan, according to Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala.

“The official bid was a necessary, positive, and much-awaited step,” Sala told Italian Adn-Kronos news agency.

“It is only a first step, of course, and we now have to work and speed up the preparation of our dossier,” the mayor added.

CONI had announced its 2026 Winter Olympics bid in August, pulling together separate proposals from three cities into a joint effort. However, the city of Turin finally withdrew, due to a disagreement between Turin mayor Chiara Appendino and her counterpart in Milan over the leadership of the bid.

Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics, which partially marked the beginning of an economic recovery for the city.

The IOC will announce preliminary candidatures during a session of the IOC scheduled in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Oct. 8-9.

The deadline for the submission of the 2026 Winter Olympics candidature files will be Jan. 11, 2019.

Other cities so far considering bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics were Calgary in Canada, the Swedish capital Stockholm, and Erzurum in Turkey.

The Japanese city of Sapporo gave up its candidacy plan after suffering a major earthquake in Hokkaido last month, the IOC announced in mid-September.

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