News

Cortina favoured for 2026 Winter Games sliding events: organisers

By AFP

January 30, 2024 08:25 PM


 

Cortina d'Ampezzo is the preferred option for sliding events at the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics, organisers of the Games announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, the organising committee said that its president Giovanni Malago and CEO Andrea Varnier "expressed optimism towards having the sliding centre in Cortina d'Ampezzo" during a board meeting.

The statement added that it was waiting for a contract be finalised between the works contractor and SIMICO, the company in charge of infrastructure projects related to the Winter Games.

Italian construction giant Pizzarotti has applied for a contract worth 81.6 million euros for delivery of the track in March 2025, less than a year before the start of the Games.

Organisers added however that they were still keeping their options open for a "Plan B" by deciding "not to end talks with already existing and working structures".

The decision to not fully commit to Cortina comes after "negative assessments from the International Olympic Committee and international federations over the tight time frame".

The statement is something of a turnaround as Malago told an IOC Session in Mumbai in October that bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions would be held outside of Italy.

Malago said that his organisation had been effectively ordered by the Italian government to move those events due to spiralling costs.

But since that announcement the political temperature has changed, with deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini insisting last month that the track be located in Italy.

The Cortina track was part of the initial plans for the Winter Games but was abandoned in 2023 due to cost and lack of companies responding to the call for tenders.

The organisers also said earlier this month that they had contacted "the American, German, Austrian and Swiss Olympic committees" in case the unprecedented decision of relocating the events abroad was reached.

Renovating the Cesana Torinese, built for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin but which has since fallen into disuse, was another option on the table.


AFP


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