The Italian Government insists that the Milan-Cortina 2026 Games "must be Italian".  © Getty Images

Italy is adamant that the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic Games will remain in Italy. Matteo Salvini, Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport, reiterated last Friday that the sliding events at the Milan-Cortina event should take place in Italy.

The statements by the Italian leader refer to those made by the Chief Organizer of the Games, Giovanni Malago, at the International Olympic Committee Session in Mumbai in October. There, Malago repeated that he had received the order from the Italian government not to move the bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton competitions due to rising costs. At that time, everything indicated that the events would probably be held outside Italy.

However, Salvini has stated on several occasions since then that a new proposal will be submitted to build a new track in Cortina d'Ampezzo, which was the original plan. "The Milan-Cortina Olympic Games must be Italian Olympic Games," said Salvini, in statements quoted by AFP during a trip to Milan. 

Cortina d'Ampezzo is a priority for the Italian government. © Getty Images
Cortina d'Ampezzo is a priority for the Italian government. © Getty Images

"This is what we're working on at the ministry, without spending another euro or wasting any more time". Salvini added that "engineers told me that we still have enough time to build this track, and we are working on it," he added.

The dates they are working with are in January 2024. That is the deadline set by the IOC a few weeks ago. On those days, the IOC will confirm the news and decide whether or not to finally allow the events to remain in Italy, considering that they meet all the requirements. Italy is working against the clock to meet the requirements."