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City councils in Milan, Turin back winter Olympics bids

The city councils of Milan and Turin have both voted in favour of backing prospective bids for the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Milan and Turin, along with the resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, are currently being assessed by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) ahead of a decision on which proposal to proceed with for a bid.

Under the proposal backed by Milan’s city council, all sporting infrastructure developed for the Games will remain in place after the event. Mayor Giuseppe Sala said, according to broadcaster Sky Italia: “I am very happy with the debate and the support given to the proposal, and in my attitude there is every opportunity offered to the city.

“My hope is that the government and CONI decide quickly because the costs are inversely proportional to the time available, otherwise if you have little time, to organise it you spend more.”

Mayor of Turin, Chiara Appendino, said, according to newspaper La Repubblica: “I am proud of the work we have done. The resolution brought today is a document that takes up the points of our dossier and we believe in it. We are not afraid to run for the Olympics and to continue our project.”

Earlier this month, CONI’s National Council unanimously decided to push forward with a bid for the 2026 Games, but delayed reaching a verdict on which of the three proposals to back.

Cortina d’Ampezzo hosted the 1956 winter Olympics, while Turin staged the Games in 2006. Milan has never hosted an Olympics, but will stage the IOC Session at which the International Olympic Committee will assign the hosting rights in September 2019.

Following this month’s announcement by the Austrian Olympic Committee that it was withdrawing the Graz/Schladming bid, CONI is currently facing competition for the 2026 Games from the Canadian Olympic Committee (Calgary), Japanese Olympic Committee (Sapporo), Swedish Olympic Committee (Stockholm) and Turkish Olympic Committee (Erzurum).