Today, during the 134th session of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Italian bid of Milan–Cortina d’Ampezzo was awarded the hosting rights to the 2026 Winter Olympics, winning the hosting rights over Stockholm–Åre, Sweden.
Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will host the world’s top winter athletes from 6-22 February, hopefully with a contingent of NHL players joining the men’s tournament. Ice hockey, which will return to Europe at the Olympics for the first time since Sochi 2014, will be hosted at both the new PalaItalia Santa Giulia and existing PalaLido arenas, both in Milan. Milan will be hosting the ice sports, while Cortina d’Ampezzo will be hosting the snow sports.
The Milan area has not hosted an IHLC game or a major hockey tournament since 1994, or in Milan city limits since 1952, while Cortina d’Ampezzo has not hosted the IHLC since 1961, or a major tournament since the 1956 Olympic Games. As a nation, Italy will be hosting a major hockey tournament for the first time since the 2006 Turin Olympics; they have also hosted the 1934 (Milan) and 1994 (Assago / Bolzano / Canazei) Men’s World Championships.
For Italy, this marks the fourth Olympiad (and third Winter Games) to be held in the nation, with 2026 marking the 70th anniversary of the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo, and the 20th anniversary of the 2006 Winter Games in Turin; Rome also hosted the 1960 Summer Games. Milan will host the Olympics for the first time ever.
Our congratulations go out to the people of Italy, who will welcome the world to Milan–Cortina d’Ampezzo in seven short years for the 25th Winter Olympiad!
Photo Credit: Huffington Post – IIHF – HHOF – IOC