A joint bid by Italy, Austria and Slovenia for the winter games after 2034?

Austria, Slovenia and Italy are considering a joint bid to host the Winter Olympics after 2034, according to the President of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northern Italy, Massimiliano Fedriga.

It is well known that Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina, with the next Games possibly being held in the French Alps in 2030, pending official confirmation. Confirmation of the 26th Winter Games will take place at the 142nd Session of the IOC in Paris on 23 July 2024, on the eve of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. 

After the French Winter Games, it is an open secret that the American city of Salt Lake City (Utah) is likely to have the honour of hosting the Games for the second time in 2034 (having already hosted them in 2002). Both games were provisionally approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in November 2023. 

Despite this apparent prospect of the Games following Milan-Cortina in 2026, officials from northern Italy, as well as those from the neighbouring regions of Austria and Slovenia, are wasting no time in pursuing an unprecedented event: Olympic Games co-hosted by three countries (in 1940, Japan and Germany were due to organise the Winter Games, but they were ultimately cancelled due to the Second World War). 

Although it is rumoured that Switzerland has the edge for the 2038 Games, a joint bid by Italy, Slovenia and Austria would be possible, guaranteeing not only the climatic conditions, but also the sustainability and environmental responsibility of the Games, something that the International Olympic Committee has recently highlighted and appreciated.

Maximiliano Fedriga is the President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. 'X' / M_FEDRIGA
Maximiliano Fedriga is the President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region. 'X' / M_FEDRIGA

The President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Maximiliano Fedriga, has announced his intention to submit a joint bid with Slovenia and Austria to host the Winter Games. Fedriga's announcement came after a meeting of the Friuli Venezia Giulia - Slovenia Joint Committee on Saturday morning, as part of a cross-border agreement to promote sustainable cross-border mobility. 

The meeting, which was also attended by the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tanja Fajón, was very fruitful and covered various topics, including cooperation and the strengthening of common infrastructures, as well as civil protection, agriculture and sport, among others. 

On this last subject, "we agreed to launch the process of a joint bid by Friuli Venezia Giulia - Slovenia - Austria to host the Winter Olympic Games after 2034", said Fedriga. 

For Fedriga, the path embarked upon with Austria and Slovenia is "an example of extraordinary cooperation based on dialogue, the desire for peace and the mutual cultural exchange that has been created between our region and neighbouring countries, which represent fundamental values of a united Europe".

Following this important meeting in the Italian city of Trieste, Slovenia's Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said: "I agree with this proposal. It's an excellent idea".

The joint bid would likely include sports facilities in Tarvisio in Friuli, Villach and Klagenfurt in Austria, and Kranjska Gora and Planica in Slovenia.

Italy has twice hosted the Winter Olympics, in Turin in 2006 and in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1956. Cortina d'Ampezzo, together with Milan, will host the third Olympic Games on Italian territory from 6 February 2026.

Meanwhile, Austria has twice hosted the Games in the city of Innsbruck, in 1964 and 1976, while if Slovenia wins the right to host the Games, it will be the first time for the country that gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in June 1991".