Italy puts forward bid to host 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Turin

In a joint bid with Turin, Milan is one of the cities considering hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics. (Reuters pic)

MILAN: The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has put forward a proposal to stage the 2026 Winter Olympics jointly in Milan and Turin, it said on Thursday.

CONI said in a statement that it had written a letter of intent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) putting forward the two northern cities as potential hosts.

It added that a feasibility study had already been carried out and would be handed to the new Italian government when it is eventually formed, this month’s election having produced a hung parliament.

Turin staged the Winter Games by itself in 2006.

Cities in Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, the United States and Canada, among others, have expressed interest in hosting the Games.

However, one Austrian city, Innsbruck, abandoned its plans to bid after they were rejected in a referendum.

The 2026 bidding process is in the so-called “dialogue phase” which the IOC says allows potential hosts “to explore the benefits of hosting an Olympic Games.”

The IOC session in October will invite candidates to formally bid, with final a decision on hosting rights to be taken in September 2019.

The bid process has been overhauled after a string of cities pulled out in previous bids, fearful of the Games’ cost, size, and environmental impact.

Rome was among four cities which pulled out of the process to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.