2026 Winter Olympics chief talks plans and progress

So there is Milan, which is the most contemporary city we have in this country, but where there is no specific tradition for winter sports. But it’s Milan. And then of course we go to Cortina, with its history and experience in alpine skiing. They have a very strong tradition in curling. They have an incredible history in bobsledding and board sports. Then we go to Anterselva: it is one of the best and most recognized biathlon venues in the world. Then we have the Val di Fiemme, where Nordic sports are a very old tradition. Several editions of world championships. So there is already the infrastructure. Yes, we need to modernize. But it’s already there, so we don’t have to build.

Most of the competition sites already exist, which will save time and budget. But how do you connect all these things?

It is important that we understand that there is a new system. Because if this concept works, it will mean more opportunities for other countries to host the Games. So transport, for example: We will do intra-cluster transport, then we will recommend the use of public transport between clusters as much as possible.

We are trying to streamline the whole system for these Games and hopefully leave a legacy for potential future Organizing Committees or Candidate Cities, so that they can think about the Games in a wider area, to involve a greater part of the population, to use the existing infrastructure.

Is it because the IOC can’t ask cities or countries to spend $50 billion, like Russia did for the Sochi Games? Because no one would like to host?

The risk is that no one will do the Games in Europe anymore. The Winter Games. The Summer Games are another story. And Europe, after all, is the heart of winter sports. I mean, with all due respect to everyone: he was born here, and the Alps are the Alps.

The Games must go everywhere, and in as many countries as possible. But if we don’t find a different system, in Europe, it will be extremely difficult. Because, I mean, this country is still a G7 country, and if you can’t afford the Games, then who can afford to host the Games?

nytimes sport

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