Why the 2026 Winter Olympics will go to Milan

Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo have been chosen to host the Winter Olympics in 2026, beating out their only rival, Stockholm. According to commentators it's easy to understand why the IOC decided in favour of the Italian bid.

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Sweden would have been the better choice

Milan was awarded the Games because it could guarantee more state subsidies than its rival, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung surmises:

“No doubt the fact that the City of Stockholm wouldn't sign the organiser's contract guaranteeing that it would deliver a flawless event with tax money, but instead passed on this responsibility to the town of Åre didn't go down too well with the IOC. Why, some IOC members may have wondered, should we put all our faith in the Swedish economy's financing the Games privately if the City of Stockholm isn't ready to do the same? But one could always take the view that memorandums of understanding given by Sweden's industrial heavyweights are more solid than Italian state finances.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

IOC missed a chance to improve its image

The IOC has missed an opportunity with its decision not to hold the 2026 Winter Games in Sweden owing to public opposition there, writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“The Committee could have signalled that it takes seriously the concerns of people in Western democracies who can express themselves freely. It could have shown that it has understood the alarm signals from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Norway and Canada, where people are not rebelling against the Olympic Games in principle but against the system that has established itself behind them. ... But the IOC failed to do this. In choosing Milan/Cortina d'Ampezzo it took the easy option. The option in which a populist government promises 80-percent support - which it won't be able to provide.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Victory for Italian team spirit

The successful bid owes much to the excellent cooperation between all concerned, La Stampa writes in delight:

“Apart from a detailed, well thought-out proposal and first-class preparation (13 of 14 sites are already finished), an exceptional team spirit which had everyone working towards the same goal secured this victory: the National Olympic Committee headed by Giovanni Malagó, the government and Undersecretary of State in charge of sport Giancarlo Giorgetti. ... But above all the success was due to a (hitherto) unthinkable team spirit among an elite comprised of people with very different ideas, party affiliations and backgrounds. ... This is particularly commendable in times when public life in our country is marked by hatred, slander and smear campaigns.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Sweden doesn't need the Games

It's a good thing that Stockholm's bid was unsuccessful, Dagens Nyheter writes:

“We're talking about a city built on an island, whose infrastructure is already inadequate for the present population and which can't deal even with the slightest weather irregularities. With the Olympic tourists, the number of visitors to the city would have doubled. ... Sweden doesn't need to put itself on any map - there's already so much going on here. The only question is how many of the tourists would have wanted to return to Stockholm or Åre if they'd been witness to the spectacular chaos that would surely have reigned in 2026. ... All those who take the Olympic Games seriously should be delighted that we'll avoid all the embarrassment.”