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Lake Placid offers to host 2026 Winter Olympic sliding events

Lake Placid Bobsled

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 16: Francesco Friedrich, Martin Grothkopp, Alexander Schueller and Thorsten Margis of Germany compete during the first run of the 4-man bobsleigh competition on day 2 of the 2019 IBSF World Cup Bobsled & Skeleton at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Bobsled Run on February 16, 2019 in Lake Placid, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Officials in Lake Placid, New York, submitted a proposal to hold the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Games bobsled, luge and skeleton events as Olympic organizers seek an active track outside of Italy.

It was announced in October that a venue outside of Italy would be sought after previous plans to rebuild a track in Cortina d’Ampezzo were scrapped. Italy does not have an elite-level sliding track in use.

Dwight Bell of the International Luge Federation said Saturday that six countries offered to host the events and that it’s hoped that a decision is made by the end of January. The other countries are Austria, China, France, Germany and Switzerland.

The U.S. has two elite-level sliding tracks in Lake Placid, which held the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and Park City, Utah, which held sliding sports at the 2002 Winter Games. Park City is focused on preparing for the 2034 Games, so Lake Placid offered for 2026.

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said that the New York Olympic Regional Development Authority submitted a proposal this week.

“At this stage, our role is simply to help them present a proposal and to endorse that proposal and ensure that we have the broad support required from the municipalities as well as from the athlete and NGB (national governing body) community,” Hirshland said Thursday.

The closest existing sliding tracks on the World Cup circuit to the 2026 Olympic host are in Igls, Austria (58 miles northwest of Cortina as the crow flies) and St. Moritz, Switzerland (110 miles west of Cortina).

Italian government officials, who are separate from the Olympic organizing committee, recently said that the Cortina track could still be rebuilt or the 2006 Torino Olympic track, which has been inactive for 12 years, could be restored, according to reports.

The organizing committee declined comment last week regarding the Torino venue and said that they are “working to find the best solution for the sliding center.”

Then on Tuesday, the IOC said it expects the venue to be outside of Italy and a decision “in the near future.” It would be the first Winter Games to be held in multiple countries.