Italy, host of the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, has abandoned plans to build a sliding center for the sledding events.
This means that the three sledding events – bobsleigh, luge and skeleton – will have to be held in other countries, a rare occurrence.
Giovanni Malago, president of the Italian Olympic Committee and head of the organizing committee for the Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo Winter Games, reported to members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 141st Session in Mumbai, India, on Saturday (Nov. 16) that “the Italian government has decided not to build a sliding center, so the three sports will have to be held in other countries.”
When the budget for the new center was doubled, the Italian government finally threw up its hands.
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and France are among the countries adjacent to the proposed sliding center in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Reuters reported.
“It’s a complex issue, more than just moving the stadium, and we will look at all possibilities to find the best place,” Malago said.
The Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo organizing committee will discuss the matter with the IOC and the International Sled Dog Federation before making a final decision on a replacement.
According to Reuters, it is extremely unusual for an Olympic event to be held in another country.
At the 1956 Melbourne Games in Australia in the Southern Hemisphere, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden, near the North Pole, due to strict equine quarantine policies by Australian authorities.
For the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium, the sailing events were held in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Meanwhile, the IOC Executive Board’s proposal to award the 2030 and 2034 Winter Olympic Games simultaneously passed the Session. The IOC will decide on the hosts for both events at its Session in July next year. 파워볼분석