efe-epaMadrid

The International Olympic Committee on Monday awarded the organization of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games to Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo over Stockholm- Are.

It will be the third Winter Olympics Italy organizes following the 1956 and 2006 games, held in Cortina and Turin respectively.

“Milano-Cortina elected as Host City for the Winter Olympic Games 2026,” the IOC posted to its official Twitter account.

Milan will succeed Beijing which is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte led his country’s delegate on Monday for the final representation during the ICO’s assembly held in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The President Sergio Mattarella addressed the delegate via a video-conference.

“We are proud of this great result! Italy has won: a whole country that has worked together with the ambition to create and offer the world a "memorable" sporting event #Olimpiadi2026 #MilanoCortina,” Giuseppe tweeted.

A young skater born in Lausanne handed IOC’s President Thomas Bach of Germany an envelope that included the winning bid after the committee members voted.

The Italian bid got 47 votes out of 81 valid votes, seven more than the minimum required, while 34 members voted for Stockholm- Are (Sweden).

Only one of the members abstained from the secret voting, according to the IOC’s official Twitter account.

Hundreds of Italians who had gathered in Milan and Cortina’s main square celebrated the result.

Large screens were set up in several squares of the two cities so Italians could watch the announcement made by Bach, which sparked an outburst of joy.

Cortina was the most packed square, where the city hall exhibited a large Italian flag and hundreds of people marked the occasion by singing the national anthem.

In Milan, the city hall is set to project on the Pirelli skyscraper the Olympic symbol, the message of “Lombardy wins” and photos of the Italian Olympic champions Sofia Goggia, Arianna Fontana and Michela Moioli.

Heading into the voting, both bids were matched, but Milan benefited from the weight of Italy within the Olympic assembly with influential active members such as Franco Carraro, Ivo Ferriani and Giovanni Malagó, and former members such as Mario Pescante, Ottavio Cinquanta o Manuela Di Centa.

In the assembly there was a certain feeling of debt with Italy that dates back to 2016 when the political authorities withdrew their support to Rome in its bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, despite the consent of the sports authorities and the project being accepted by the IOC.

The presence of Victoria Crown Princess of Sweden did not help shift the balance in Stockholm- Are’s favor. EFE

nam/ta/ch