2026 Olympics: Milan-Cortina selected to host Winter Games; Sweden falls short again

The Winter Olympics are going back to Italy for the first time since 2006, as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Monday the 2026 Winter Games will be hosted by Milan-Cortina, one of two final bidders for the international competition.

Sweden was the other finalist, seeking its first-ever Winter Olympics after last hosting the Summer Games more than a century ago. But IOC president Thomas Bach confirmed committee voters have instead opted for the cities of Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The announcement marks the second time Cortina, a southern Alps town known for its skiing scene, will host the Winter Olympics. The area previously held the Games in 1956. Milan, meanwhile, the second-most populous city in the country behind only Rome, has never hosted the Winter Olympics before. Italy as a whole has had the Games twice -- first in Cortina, then again in 2006 with Turin -- and also hosted a Summer Olympics in 1960.

Milan-Cortina's original bid for the 2026 Games was teased on the 20th anniversary of the 2006 Winter Olympics by Turin mayor Chiara Appendino, who suggested in March 2018 Italy would explore hosting another event.

Sweden was also denied the 2022 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Beijing.

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