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Winter Olympics to have medal events in multiple countries for first time in 2026

2026 Winter Olympics

20 February 2022, China, Peking: Olympics, closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, at the Bird’s Nest National Stadium, announcement of the next Winter Olympics in the Italian cities of Milan and Cortina in 2026. Photo: Peter Kneffel/dpa (Photo by Peter Kneffel/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

The 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympic bobsled, luge and skeleton events will be held outside of Italy, making it the first Winter Games to be spread across multiple countries.

Organizers announced Monday that previous plans to rebuild a sliding track in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the 1956 Winter Olympics host, have been scrapped.

A replacement venue has not been announced.

In recent years, Olympic officials have prioritized existing venues over costly new projects.

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

The venue for the 2006 Winter Games in Turin was last used for major competition in 2011 and is not being considered to be restored or rebuilt for 2026.

“As recently as two days ago the government informed us to consider the best and most sustainable option to not go ahead with the sliding center and move the sliding competition to an already existing and working venue,” Giovanni Malagò, the 2026 Winter Games president, told IOC members at a meeting in Mumbai, India, on Monday. “As a result, Milan-Cortina 2026 has to identify another venue outside of Italy. We are already working to explore all possible solutions.

“The recent years’ dramatic international scenario has forced a reflection on the resources originally allocated by the Italian government as investment for this specific venue and the ability to attract some construction companies capable of carrying out a complex project like the sliding center has not produced many results.”

Milan-Cortina was elected 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics host by an IOC members vote in 2019.

It beat a Stockholm-centered bid that proposed holding sliding events in Sigulda, Latvia.