IOC Evaluation Commission confirms passion and expertise of Milan-Cortina project shaped by Olympic Agenda 2020
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission today concluded a five-day working visit to Italy, during which it verified that the Milan-Cortina candidature for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2026 has successfully embedded the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020.
The project maximises the use of venues that boast strong identification with their respective winter sports, and local people who are passionate about attending and organising world-class events year after year.
The visit to Italy started on Tuesday 2 April and comprised venue tours, meetings and discussions with the candidature team, as well as other stakeholders involved.
Evaluation Commission Chair Octavian Morariu said: “We were impressed by the broad political backing from all levels of government. After our five days in Italy, we can also say that the overwhelming popular support is not a surprise. In all the cities we have visited, we met Italian athletes and organisers who know what they are doing and have a passion for what they do. Olympic Agenda 2020 has allowed the selection of venues with strong identities forged through and by sports. And we were pleased to learn that the Games can align with the local objectives of city development, environmental sustainability and economic growth.
Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò stated: “We have evaluated what the best opportunity was for our country to join this Candidature Process. The result was to combine two fantastic regions, Lombardy and Veneto, and cities, Milan and Cortina, supported by other regions, in a very special mix of history, tradition and beauty. Thanks to Olympic Agenda 2020, we can be candidates today and choose to go where we have existing venues that are among the best in Europe and the world in their disciplines.
The Commission also met the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini; the Undersecretary of State in charge of Sport, Giancarlo Giorgetti; the Mayors of Milan and Cortina, Giuseppe Sala and Gianpietro Ghedina; the Governors of Lombardy and Veneto, Attilio Fontana and Luca Zaia; and representatives of the other regions and cities expected to host events and the business sector.
Morariu added: “As we have seen this week, taking advantage of the flexibility afforded by Olympic Agenda 2020 requires creative solutions in areas such as athletes’ experience and venue capacities. What we have heard so far on these subjects has been positive and based on good premises, which will now need to be refined as the project develops.
Following the visits to the Candidate Cities Stockholm-Åre and Milan-Cortina*, now concluded, the Evaluation Commission will prepare an objective report highlighting the challenges and opportunities of each candidature. The goal is to help the IOC members take their decision as they vote in the host city election at the IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 24 June this year.
*Cities are listed in the order of drawing of lots as performed by the IOC Executive Board.