The press conference was held at Palazzo Marino, in the heart of Milan, during the week of the visit of the IOC Evaluation Commission with respect to the Milan Cortina bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games 2026. This morning the Seminar that began yesterday at the Royal Palace ended, and it featured a significant exchange of 'Olympic' presentations between the international delegation led by Octavian Morariu and the Italian team involved in the project, led by INOC President Giovanni Malagò, the Secretary General Carlo Mornati, and the representatives of the cities and regions.
The press conference was attended, in addition to President Malagò, by the Mayors of Milan and Cortina Giuseppe Sala and Gianpietro Ghedina, the Governors of Lombardy and Veneto Attilio Fontana and Luca Zaia, the President of the Commission Morariu, and the Executive Director of the IOC Olympic Games Christophe Dubi.
Before the press conference, the IOC presented the result the candidacy-related survey, which confirmed, as pointed out by Morariu, the enthusiasm perceived during the visit: 83% of Italians favor the candidacy. Specifically, 81% of the population of Lombardy (87% in Milan), and 80% of that in Veneto, and 85% overall in the rest of the country. A satisfaction that has further increased in the first months of 2019.
President Malagò - considering this significant response - expressed the satisfaction of the working group at the end of a week of visits that started in Venice and ended in Milan, after crossing Cortina, Anterselva, Baselga di Pinè, Tesero, Predazzo, Livigno, and Bormio. "For the first time, two cities attach their names and faces to this candidacy. We started some time ago, not long but we followed logic: we studied and identified the best conditions so that our country could be competitive in terms of hosting the Olympic Games. The end result was to bring together two fantastic regions and we proposed a special mix, a peculiar combination of traditional beauty. Objectively, these realities of ours are Unique in the world panorama. I thank all the partners and our wonderful group. We have 5 stakeholders, a very strong team. It is not common to find this unity in Italy and I am proud of this and of the support of the Government, which has been persuaded day after day about this type of low-cost bid and, at the same time, has decided to use 100% of the opportunities offered by the 2020 agenda; thanks to this we are here and we are candidates. We have chosen to go where there are already venues that have made the history of individual disciplines, venues considered the best in the world such as Anterselva, Val di Fiemme and Cortina, combining them with the tradition of other locations. Many thanks to President Morariu and to the whole committee. I am sure that you have been touched by the Italian atmosphere, characterized by our mentality, the joy of living and, at the same time, supported by serious people, a fantastic group with recognized competencies in the organization of major sporting events. Italy has demonstrated a tradition of hosting international events and we hope that this tradition will continue with Milano Cortina".
Positive impressions confirmed by the words of the IOC Evaluation Commission President Octavian Morariu: "We are satisfied, the candidacy is built on the 2020 Agenda precepts, which aims to reduce costs and optimize sustainability. It is an extraordinary project, the Italian team has put a lot of passion into it, and it has been able to exploit and enhance a great experience. All these render the candidacy of Milan Cortina very strong”. During the conference, Dubi also confirmed this line. "The bid focuses on athletes, thanks to the choice of venues that conforms with the 2020 Agenda philosophy and it knows how to place the main protagonists of the Olympic Games in the best conditions to express their potential".
Finally, great optimism and positivity emerged from the speeches of mayors Sala and Ghedina, and the Governors Fontana and Zaia. Work will recommence in view of the next steps. A presentation of the candidacy is scheduled for May in a conference call with Brisbane, where the 17th GAISF Summit will meet. Another key step in view of the designation of the city to host the 2026 Olympic Games: the decision will be made on 24 June in IOC’s Session in Lausanne. (Photo Mezzelani GMT Sport)