The visit of the IOC Evaluation Commission - led by Romanian Octavian Morariu - concerning the candidacy of Milan Cortina for the 2026 Olympic Games has officially begun in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
The delegation carried out the first inspection at the Tofane slope, which will host the women's alpine skiing and the team event competitions, and then visited the historic facility where the opening ceremony of the '56 Games was held, a potential curling venue, and the sliding center - where sled, bob and skeleton competitions are scheduled - concluding its visit at Fiames, the area envisaged to accommodate the Olympic Village. In addition to the CONI President Giovanni Malagò, the Secretary General Carlo Mornati, the Italian National Olympic Committee 'team' and the bid coordinator Diana Bianchedi, in attendance were also IOC member Ivo Ferriani, the ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, the mayor of Cortina Gianpietro Ghedina, the deputy mayor Luigi Alverà, the President of Fondazione Cortina 2021 Alessandro Benetton, the Olympic luger Armin Zoeggeler, and the symbol of the place Kristian Ghedina.
The Commission then moved to Anterselva, a venue indicated to host the biathlon competitions and the venue for the next World Championships. The President of the Province Arno Kompatscher and Mayor Thomas Schuster will do the honors. Among those present were the INOC President Bolzano, Heinz Gutweniger, the President of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 World Championship, Lorenz Leitgeb, and the Olympic medalist Lukas Hofer. In the afternoon, the commission will be transfered to Baselga di Pinè, in Val di Fiemme - in Tesero and Predazzo -, to inspect the areas and facilities intended to accommodate speed skating, cross-country skiing, and jumping.
Attending the visit in Baselgà di Pinè were the Olympic champions Enrico Fabris (2 gold medals at Turin 2006), Matteo Anesi, Ippolito Sanfratello (both gold at Turin 2006) and Arianna Fontana, gold at PyeongChang 2018, where she was also the flag bearer of the Italian team and was awarded eight overall medals at the Games. Andrea Giovannini also participated, sixth in PyeongChang (Team Pursuit) and Sergio Anesi, FISO Commissioner.
In Tesero, the Commission was welcomed by the Olympians Franco Nones (gold at Grenoble '68) and Christian Zorzi (gold at Turin 2006), by Bice Vanzetta (bronze at Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994), and by Chiara Costazza, Alexia Runggaldier, Alex Insam and the paralympic Giacomo Bertagnolli; in Predazzo, the Malsiner sisters, Lara and Emanuela, Alessandro Pittin (bronze at Vancouver 2010) and Veronica Gianmoena did the honors.
"The sites, the clusters, were presented perfectly. Some know each other, others understand what they should become. I've been optimistic since day one, but I keep my feet firmly on the ground. This is a stage race, the goal is 24 June, with IOC’s pronouncement," stated INOC President Giovanni Malagò. (Photo Mezzelani GMT Sport)