The 2026 Winter Olympics Are Looking Beyond the Horizon
So there is Milan, which is the most contemporary city we have in this country, but where there is not a specific tradition for winter sports. But it’s Milano. And then we go of course to Cortina, with its history and its experience in Alpine skiing. They have a very strong tradition in curling. They have an incredible history in bobsleigh and the sliding sports. Then we go to Anterselva: That’s one of the best, best recognized sites for biathlon in the world. Then we have Val di Fiemme, where Nordic sports are a very longstanding tradition. Several editions of world championships. So there is already the infrastructure. Yes, we have to modernize. But it’s already there, so we don’t have to build.
The bulk of the competition venues already exist, which will save on budget and time. But how do you connect all these things?
It’s important that we understand that there’s a new system. Because if this concept works, it will mean more opportunities for other countries to host the Games. So transportation, for example: We will do in-cluster transportation, and then we will recommend the use of public transportation between clusters as much as possible.
We’re trying to rationalize the entire system for this Games, and hopefully to leave as a legacy for future potential organizing committees or candidate cities, that they can think of the Games in a larger area, to involve a larger piece of the population, to use existing infrastructure.
Is that because the I.O.C. can’t ask cities or countries to spend $50 billion, as Russia did for the Sochi Games? Because nobody would want to host?
The risk is that nobody will do the Games in Europe anymore. The Winter Games. The Summer Games is a different story. And Europe, after all, it’s the heart of winter sports. I mean, with all due respect to everybody: It was born here, and the Alps are the Alps.
The Games have to go everywhere, and to as many countries as possible. But if we don’t find a different system, in Europe it will be extremely difficult. Because, I mean, this country is still a G7 country, and if you cannot afford the Games, then who can afford to host the Games?
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