Milan-Cortina was selected as the 2026 Winter Games host a year ago today ©Getty Images

Milan-Cortina 2026 has celebrated the one-year anniversary of being awarded the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Italian candidacy defeated a Swedish bid from Stockholm-Åre by 47 votes to 34 on this day in 2019, at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Lausanne.

It means that Italy is scheduled to host the Winter Games for a second time, exactly 20 years after they last did so in Turin.

"The assignment of the Games to Milan-Cortina was an extraordinary success for the country because it rewarded the stakeholders' team spirit, of which we are very proud," said Giovanni Malagò, the Italian National Olympic Committee President who also heads the Milan-Cortina Foundation, the Organising Committee for the Games.

"We will keep that spirit forever in our hearts because it shows, once and for all, the strength of sport as a factor of unity, despite any distance. 

"We are working to honour the meaning of that victory, developing and implementing the project that embodied the candidature."

Venue hubs for the Games are planned across northern Italy, in Milan, Valtellina, Cortina d'Ampezzo and Val di Fiemme.

Three different Athletes' Villages are proposed as well as athlete hotels.

Since being awarded the Games, the Italian Parliament has adopted an Olympic Law which structures the organisation and governance of Milan-Cortina 2026.

Plans to redevelop Milan's famous San Siro stadium, the proposed Opening Ceremony venue, have also gathered pace.

The Italian delegation celebrates winning the bid at last year's IOC Session in Lausanne ©Getty Images
The Italian delegation celebrates winning the bid at last year's IOC Session in Lausanne ©Getty Images

"The approval of the Olympic Law, for which we are grateful to the Government, the co-operation between the various stakeholders and the commitment of the Foundation, in continual contact with the IOC, represent a fundamental basis for respecting the time schedule and for imagining an unforgettable edition of the Games that will drive the development goals for the entire country," Malagò, an IOC member, added.

Games staff have now returned to work at the Pirelli Tower in Milan, after weeks working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The pandemic and the resulting lockdown did nothing to undermine our determination to create an unforgettable edition of the Games," said Novari. 

"In fact, during the three months of remote working we have felt, even more fully, the responsibility to, along with the Games, organise an event that acts as a restart for the country."

Officials will now continue their work on the strategic planning phase of the Games in the coming weeks.

This will include exploring potential partnerships with Italian companies of various different sizes.

As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, travel between different regions will also become possible.

"This anniversary is also an opportunity to celebrate the magnificent group of people who made the victorious candidature of Milan-Cortina possible, while also renewing the commitment to deliver a Winter Games that are truly for all Italians," Novari added.