Italian joy as Milan confirmed Winter Olympics 2026 host

The Italians celebrated the announcement. Credit: AP

Milan and Cortina D'Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee has announced in Switzerland.

At an event in Lausanne on Monday afternoon, the Italian delegation broke out in cheers and hugs as their northern city was picked as the host city.

Milan's pitch beat Stockhom's in the final two, making 2026 the third time the Winter Olympics will be held in Italy, two decades after Turin and 70 years after Cortina D'Ampezzo hosted outright.

Sweden's wait to host its first Winter Olympics continues.

A Swedish minister congratulated Italy for the win. Credit: AP

A Swedish minister congratulated the Italians for their win on behalf the prime minister, who is in Paris for the Women's World Cup.

He joked that Sweden had "beaten up" Italy in football "not long ago" but said it is now "one to one" after the Italian bid was picked over his country's.

The recent IOC Evaluation Commission report had appeared to give Milan-Cortina the edge, with concerns expressed over the funding for new venues in the Swedish bid - including the Stockholm Olympic Village and the speed skating oval as well as legacy use.

The Stockholm-Are bid was based around the Swedish capital and its largest ski resort.

It also included Latvian city Sigulda.

Skating sports and ice hockey are among the sports scheduled to be held in Milan, with San Siro football stadium set to host the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Cortina d'Ampezzo, a town just south of the Alps, is an attractive destination for skiers and tourists, will play host to the majority of the alpine skiing events, following on from the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven had earlier addressed the IOC as part of the final bid presentations, with Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, also in attendance.