The 2026 Winter Olympics Host Cities Mark A First For The Games

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

It's news that has sent waves of enthusiasm and excitement throughout Italy. According to The Associated Press on Monday, the 2026 Winter Olympics host cities are Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. It's the first time that the Winter Games had more than one city host for its event, per Sports Illustrated.

In a 47-34 vote, Italy beat another contender, Sweden, for hosting the games. If Sweden had won the vote, its two cities Stockholm and Åre would have hosted the Olympic Winter Games. When the International Olympic Committee announced Italy's victory in the voting session, the country's delegation shouted, "Italia! Italia!," according to The Associated Press. The games are expected to run from Feb. 6 to Feb. 22 in 2026, per The New York Times.

Italian Olympic President Giovanni Malago told The Associated Press, "I'm really emotional. It's a very important result, not only for me but the whole country." According to ESPN, this will be Italy's third round with hosting the Olympic Winter Games. In 1956, Cortina staged the Winter Games and in 2006, Turin became the Italian host for that year's Olympic tournament.

Come 2026, the multi-sport event will feature intense physical activity in the form of figure skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding, freestyle skiing, bobsleigh, curling, speed skating, and much more, according to The Olympic Channel.

In case you didn't know, a little travel will go into attending the games in both Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The two cities are nearly 220 miles away from each other, according to Sports Illustrated. And it's an undertaking that will involve a hefty amount of money as well, according to ESPN. The International Olympic Committee announced it would give Italy about $925 million in order to carry out the event. Technically, Italy's Winter Games' operation will require at least $1.7 billion, per ESPN.

Speaking of finances, according to the outlet, Italy Under Secretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti stated, "We have budget problems in Italy, but I think that this is something that everyone has."

Giorgetti noted that the Italian provinces of Lombardy and Veneto would cover the expenses for the event, according to ESPN. "They are two of the richest provinces in Europe," he said. "They certainly have the capacity, they have the readiness, they have the finances in order to be able to support the event."

With Italy hosting the Winter Games, the International Olympic Committee appears satisfied. The committee's president, Thomas Bach, gave hearty congratulations to the country's delegation for the upcoming games. He also noted that Italy had the "passion and knowledge" of sports to make for a great venue.

"Congratulations to Milan-Cortina,” Bach said, per CNN. "We can look forward to an outstanding and sustainable Olympic Winter Games in a traditional winter sports country."

"The passion and knowledge of Italian fans," Bach went on to say, "together with experienced venue operators, will create the perfect atmosphere for the best athletes in the world."