LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo are promising an Italian Olympics packed with style and elan after winning the right to stage the 2026 Winter Games on Monday, June 24.
Milan earned 47 votes from the International Olympic Committee membership, compared to Stockholm's 34, prompting loud celebrations from the bid team, that had earlier included Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
"Italy, the future and sport have won," Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said back in Italy.
Milan and Stockholm were the only candidates left after four other cities — Swiss city Sion, Japan's Sapporo, Austria's Graz and 1988 hosts Calgary in Canada — had dropped out of the race with concerns over the size and cost of the event.
Italy last hosted the winter Olympics in 2006 in Turin while Cortina hosted the winter Games back in 1956.
"Congratulations to Milan-Cortina. We can look forward to outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country," IOC President Thomas Bach said after announcing the winner.
"The passion and knowledge of Italian fans, together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world."
Sweden, a winter sports powerhouse who hosted the summer Olympics back in 1912, have now bid eight times unsuccessfully for the winter Games.
The Italian bid had gained an advantage over their opponents after a recent evaluation report by the IOC showed much stronger local support for the Olympics at over 80 percent among the population, compared to just over 50 percent for the Stockholm-Are candidacy.