International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has said Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo’s joint bid for the 2026 winter Olympic and Paralympic Games can proceed without financial backing from the Italian government, as the body continues to deal with a difficult bidding process for the event.
Italy’s Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said last month that while the government would offer its support for the bid to the IOC, it wouldn’t “provide one euro – neither for direct or indirect costs”.
This statement means that the bid is set to be financially supported solely by the regional governments of Lombardy and Veneto. Speaking following the conclusion of two days of meetings in Rome yesterday (Thursday), Bach said, according to the Associated Press news agency: “This candidature is very strong because it reflects the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020.
“The guarantees which have been expressed by Lombardy and Veneto are very important to secure the overall candidature. That is well appreciated by the IOC.”
Bach’s support comes with continuing concerns over the status of rival bids from Calgary and Stockholm. Guarantees and project plans from all bids are due on January 11, with the IOC set to elect a host for the 2026 Games in June.
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) had initially proposed a three-way bid involving Turin, only for the host of the 2006 Games to be removed from the project in September.