IOC hails Agenda 2020 impact for 2026 Games bids

The International Olympic Committee has said the bids for the 2026 winter Olympic Games reflect the “very positive impact” of the Agenda 2020 reform package after Stockholm-Åre and Milan-Cortina submitted their candidature files.

The Swedish and Italian applications are the first candidature files produced since Olympic Agenda 2020/The New Norm was approved by the IOC Session in February 2018, and the IOC claims its recommendations are already delivering substantial benefits to the cities and their projects.

On average, the 2026 candidate cities will use 80 per cent existing or temporary venues, compared to 60 per cent among the candidates for the 2018 and 2022 winter Games. In addition, the initial Games operating costs projected by the cities are on average 20 per cent, or approximately $400m (€348.7m), lower than those in the two previous candidature processes.

Chair of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the 2026 Games, Octavian Morariu, said: “With these two traditional sports countries as candidates, we see the very positive impact of the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms.

“Both countries have vast experience in organising World Cups and World Championships, with existing infrastructure and experienced operators. This has allowed the candidates to reduce the investment needed and increase the sustainability of their projects.”

The files received on Friday and the other documents submitted during the process will form part of an analysis by the IOC Evaluation Commission, which will also visit each city. The Commission will be in Stockholm-Åre from March 12-16 and Milan-Cortina from April 2-6.

The Commission’s report will be made public ahead of the host city election, which will take place in June this year during the 134th IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Morariu added: “I am delighted that these two great projects already demonstrate a clear vision about the lasting legacies to be delivered in their respective communities, which have successfully hosted many winter sports events in the past.

“We are now looking forward to reviewing the candidature files and continuing to work in partnership with the cities to further develop and refine their plans.”