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CONI commits to Italian winter Olympics bid

The National Council of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has today (Tuesday) unanimously decided to push forward with a bid for the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, but has delayed reaching a verdict on which of the three proposals to back.

The CONI gathered today and could have made a decision on whether to go with the cities of Milan and Turin, or the resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Committee said that after “extensive and in-depth debate”, having noted the full support from the government for an Italian candidacy and expressing its “great satisfaction” it will send a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the 2026 Games.

The CONI said that the name of the candidate will be decided at the next meeting of the National Council after a special evaluation committee, nominated by the National Council, examines in detail the three feasibility studies.

On Friday, the government offered its support for a 2026 Games bid under certain conditions. CONI earlier confirmed that feasibility studies from Milan, Turin and Cortina d’Ampezzo were received by the deadlines set out and were being analysed ahead of today’s meetings.

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 Friday’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).