Sliding events to be held outside Italy at 2026 Games

Sliding events at the 2026 Winter Olympics will be staged outside Italy after plans to build a new track in Cortina were dropped.

Games chief Giovanni Malago told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Mumbai that costs had doubled to 80 million euros (£69.2m).

He said the Italian government wanted the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions moved to a new site.

Innsbruck in Austria has been suggested as an alternative.

However, no decision has been made as yet. The Games are scheduled to take place from 6-22 February 2026.

“As you know, this venue has been at the centre of a long and controversial process,” said Malago, who is also the president of Italy’s National Olympic Committee.

“Since the spring, a public tender procedure has been under way, going through different stages.”

He said recent global financial trouble “has forced a reflection on the resources originally allocated by the Italian government”.

“As a result, Milano-Cortina 2026 has identified another venue outside Italy. We are already working to explore all possible solutions and analyse the alternatives together with the IOC and international federations before submitting the choice to our board for final approval.”

IOC co-ordination commission chair Kristin Kloster Aasen welcomed a move that was in line with an IOC policy to avoid building Games venues without a clear legacy plan.

“This responsible commitment reinforces the position of the IOC that this venue needed to be reconsidered as the permanent legacy was not clear,” she said.

Source: BBC