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Italy Awarded 2026 Olympic Winter Games

By Tom Horrocks
June, 24 2019
Milan-Cortina 2026

With Monday’s announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarding the 2026 Olympic Winter Games to Milano-Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, current and future U.S. Ski & Snowboard Olympic Champions are reacting with excitement toward competing in Italy.

“A huge congratulations to Milano-Cortina for winning the 2026 Olympic Winter Games,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw. “U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes have a history of success in Cortina d’Ampezzo, most notably Lindsey Vonn’s 12 World Cup wins there, a record for the venue, and most recently when Mikaela Shiffrin won her third career World Cup victory there this past January. The Olympics are the pinnacle of our sports and what drives each of our elite athletes across our seven teams to put in the hard work to train and compete towards being Best in the World. We are already well underway preparing for Beijing 2022, and look forward to competing in three new events: Freeski Big Air, Mixed Team Aerials and Mixed Team Snowboardcross.

“The Olympic movement pushes athletes to the best of their abilities to progress their sports and we are hopeful for even more opportunities for our fans to watch them in action, perhaps with the addition of a dual moguls event for 2026. Italy is a nation steeped in winter sports tradition and as Cortina d’Ampezzo will also play host to the 2020 FIS Ski World Cup Finals and the 2021 FIS Alpine World Championships, we look forward to bringing our athletes, staff, and supporters there leading into and in 2026.”

    - Tiger Shaw, U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO

The 2026 Olympics will mark the return to the European continent of the Games last held in the small Italian city of Turin in 2006.

The Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic Winter Games will see U.S. Ski & Snowboard athletes compete at a number of venues that have previously hosted FIS Ski & Snowboard World Cup competitions. The women’s alpine skiing events will take place at Cortina d’Ampezzo, site of the 1956 Olympic Winter Games, and a highly-anticipated annual stop on the women’s FIS Ski World Cup circuit with downhill and super-G events. Mikaela Shiffrin (Edwards, Colo.) took her third career World Cup super-G victory at Cortina this past January.

“A big congratulations to Milano-Cortina on winning the 2026 Olympic bid!” exclaimed Shiffrin. “From the first moment I saw the Olympia delle Tofane track, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. First of all, the Dolomites are a sight for sore eyes - the landscape is absolutely stunning, and the Cortina organizing committee does an incredible job prepping the surface. The sun always seems to be shining, and the Italian fans are among the most passionate on the tour. In my first World Cup super-G start at Cortina in 2017 I was fourth, and what stands out most about that day is that I just had SO much fun. Last year I won my third career super-G victory there. It’s a pure joy to ski on that track.”

Cortina d’Ampezzo is also scheduled to host the 2020 FIS Ski World Cup Finals and the 2021 FIS Alpine World Championships as a lead up to the 2026 Games. Bormio will host the men’s Olympic alpine events - featuring the Stelvio, one of the most spectacular, technical and difficult tracks in the world - having twice hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1985 and 2005 and many editions of the FIS World Cup.

Cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping will all take place at Val di Fiemme where Jessie Diggins (Affton, Minn.) and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, Alaska) won the first-ever FIS Cross Country World Championships gold medal for the United States in 2013.

“I have so many fond memories of racing in Val di Fiemme, so I’m thrilled to see the Olympics come to Milano-Cortina!” said Diggins. “Italy is one of my favorite countries to live, train and race in, so this will be an exciting Games!”

Livigno will host snowboard, freeski, and freestyle competition, providing the small Italian village the opportunity to host international competition for the first time leading up the 2026 Games.

“Thinking all the way to 2026 seems a bit hard for me to grasp. I’m still enjoying my Olympic experience from 2018 in South Korea and have my eye’s set for 2022 in Beijing,” said 2018 Olympic snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Red Gerard. “It’s hard to get too much further than that for my goals, but I am sure Italy will be a cool change and it’s nice to see the Winter Olympics back to another part of the world. I hope to have the chance to represent the U.S. in Italy and look forward to the opportunity.”

The 2026 Milano-Cortina Olympic Winter Games will provide an inspirational urban setting of a modern metropolis united with the uplifting and traditional mountain-setting of the spectacular Italian Alps: the Dolomites. Athletes, spectators and the Olympic Family will experience Italy’s passion and enjoy the cultural and social pleasures that draw millions of visitors to Milano and the Dolomites every year. Milano’s storied 80,000-seat Stadio Giuseppe Meazza soccer stadium is slated to host the opening ceremony, with the closing ceremonies taking place in a Roman amphitheater in Verona.