Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Italian decision nears as Milano-Cortina 2026 eyes sliding venue abroad

Torino Winter Olympics Sliding Track

ITALY - FEBRUARY 19: Bobsleigh: 2006 Winter Olympics, View of groundskeeper shoveling track in snow storm during Two Man Heat 4 at Cesana Pariol, Cesana, Italy 2/19/2006 (Photo by Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (SetNumber: X75141 TK3 R2)

Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Though 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Games organizers are looking abroad for a sliding sports venue, government officials in Italy are considering a project involving the 2006 Torino Games site that last held major competition in 2011.

Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said Thursday that a government decision will be made next week regarding Cesana, which held bobsled, luge and skeleton at the 2006 Games.

Dubi did not elaborate on what is specifically being considered regarding Cesana or if a decision to restore the track could lead to it becoming an option to hold sliding sports in 2026.

After a meeting last month, the IOC and Milano-Cortina officials said the plan was to hold sliding sports in another country because there are no elite-level sliding tracks in use in Italy. A previous plan to rebuild a sliding track in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the 1956 Winter Olympics host, was scrapped.

It would mark the first time in Winter Games history that medal events are held in two different countries. It has happened at the Summer Games with equestrian due to quarantine restrictions.

“I want to be crystal clear and reaffirm the following regarding Cesana,” Dubi said after an IOC Executive Board meeting Thursday. “This is a project that the government has reopened. As far as the IOC is concerned, we insisted, including during the last executive board (meeting) and the session in Mumbai (in October), that only existing and functioning venues should be considered at this point in time. We respect the decision of the various levels of government to look into Cesana. Nevertheless, we have also worked with the organizing committee so that they are in a position, should this project not be adopted, and we feel that it will certainly be the case, to look outside of Italy. So they have contacted a number of NOCs (National Olympic Committees).”

Milano-Cortina organizers declined comment on whether Cesana could become an option and said that they are “working to find the best solution for the sliding center.”

The estimated cost of restoring the Cesana track is $36 million, according to Italian media.

Cesana, near the Italy-France border, is 122 miles west of Milan and 280 miles west of Cortina as the crow flies.