The preparations for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games have stepped up a gear as the Milano Cortina 2026 Organizing Committee has given the International Olympic Committee an update with 1,000 days to go on Games planning, venue masterplan, governance and commercial developments, projecting an optimistic outlook for Games preparations.
Stakeholder engagement was a common theme throughout the updates in regard to the formation of “Cabina di Regia,” a coordination group that provides support from the Italian government and representatives from the host territories. An overview of its recently established Athletes’ Commission was provided, along with details around the restructuring of its senior leadership team including new Chief Executive Officer Andrea Varnier.
“We are extremely grateful for the atmosphere of patience and competent cooperation that characterizes our relationship, not only with this Commission but, in every instance, with the IOC, the IPC and the International Federations,” Milan-Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malago said. “We are very well aware of the challenges ahead of us, but I must say that I take a certain comfort in the closing report. This report clearly sets out our priorities and leads the way for our work in the future. Our new governance and organization are set to guarantee rapid decision-making and efficient internal communication. I trust that the targets discussed in this Coordination Commission meeting will be achieved.”
Venues were another topic of discussion with a view to presenting an overall masterplan to the IOC Executive Board for approval within the next few months. An important update was the preference to use a temporary field of play in Milan for the speed skating competitions after the withdrawal of the Baselga di Pine Oval venue based on the feasibility assessment of its long-term legacy and sustainability.
The Winter Games will take place from February 6-22 with the Paralympic Winter Games taking place March 6-15.
“With just under three years to go until the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026, we are now entering an exciting and crucial phase,” IOC Coordination Commission Chair Sari Essayah said. “We take confidence from the fact that the Organizing Committee now has a strong team in place, new commercial partners have been announced and important decisions have been taken with regard to venues. The foundation work has progressed well and will allow for further acceleration of the preparations in the coming months.”