Reconstruction Progress Cross-Country Center at the Milano Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics –

Celebration abounds after Jessie Diggins’ Olympic silver medal in the 30km mass start skating event in Zhangjiakou, CHN. U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Matt Whitcomb and Cross-Country Program Director Chris Grover wear orange hats near the top right corner. (Photo: NordicFocus)

The upcoming Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics are being marketed as a festival of fun and athletics, from Rome to the mountain vibes of Castel d’Ampezzo.

After introducing the Olympics to young fans in Sochi and some other European countries, the Olympic Committee will return to firmer ground by hosting the opening of the Winter Olympics in France’s most beautiful and renowned mountain region, Chamonix.

The 2026 Winter Olympics will be the most publicized sporting event in history. Venues covering a total of 22,000 hectares in northern Italy, from the counties of Trento to the districts of Milan and Padua, have already been designated for the event.

However, many athletes, especially some outspoken Italian snowboarders, are critical of the way the affairs of the upcoming event are being handled. Before examining the grounds for their objections, let’s review the facts of the relatively recent meeting of the coordination group with the organization division of Cortina.

Clare Egan helps the Americans take seventh place in the opening mixed relay of the 2022 Winter Olympics. (Photo: NordicFocus)

IOC meeting in Cortina

The IOC Coordination Commission division officially met with the Cortina 2026 organizing body for the first time in March 2020. 2026 matches in sight.

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, received the members of the commission. Notable attendees included Sari Essayah – Chairman of the Coordinating Commission meeting, Kikkan Randall – former ski champion representing the Athletes Commission and Sarah Lewis – FIS General Secretary. Others were Giovanniï Malago – President of the Italian National Committee, and Vincenzo Novarí – CEO of Milan 2026.

The Commission heard from representatives of the Organization’s founders, including the President of the Italian Paralympic Group, Luca Pancalli; Mayor Giuseppe Sala; Mayor of Cortina Gianpietro Ghedina; and President of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana; while a speech was also given on behalf of the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia. Federal Government Representative Valerio Toniolo; the president of the autonomous province of Bolzano, Arno Kompatscher; and the President of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Maurizio Fugatti, also addressed the Commission.

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Jessie Diggins (USA) en route to the USA’s first-ever individual women’s medal at the Olympics. (Photo: NordicFocus)

Statements by committee members

No one is better placed to detail the progress of the reconstruction work than the group’s president and head of the Italian Olympics, Giovanni Malago. And what he had to say at the meeting was to affirm public suspicions that renovations for the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics are long behind, even though plans are underway to actively rebuild the facilities.

Members of the Cortina division are considering redirecting activities to some of the pre-existing structures designed for the 2006 contest if Turin does not work. However, there are still a few years left.

Organizing group chairman Giovanni said major infrastructure improvements would be made before the start of the 2026 Olympics.

In his case, IOC President Thomas Bach suggested a reform plan that 2026 organizers have long adhered to. The agenda allows the event to take place within pre-existing infrastructure – including where this could mean that the event would be played far from the city center.

With these plans in place, Come ’26, the center of Rome will be reserved for hockey, speed skating and even figure skating. In the Val Di Fiemme, however, sportsmen practiced skiing and Nordic winter sports in Baselga. Livigno will host snowboard games. Bormio, however, will be reserved to host the alpine ski center. There would be a couple of hour-long walks which involve a tour of inland Europe as the straight path crosses the mountain slopes, which will be inaccessible next winter.

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Therese Johaug (NOR) in the lead in the first cross country competition at the 2022 Olympics (Photo: NordicFocus)

Objections from members of the public

However, there were notable objections to these arrangements for the event. For example, a former giant slalom world champion observed that the organizing committee’s willingness to resort to holding the competition in pre-modern centers indicated how inefficient the organizers were in carrying out reconstructions.

That aside from the fact that some notable infrastructure installs haven’t even started yet.

For example, a railway line and a full-length slide center are to be completely renovated in Cortina. Their total cost is estimated at $70 million. However, construction work on the center has yet to begin, although a preliminary design was presented to organizers in December.

As at Baselga, work has yet to begin on the event-crucial speed skating center. It’s no wonder now that members of the public and future athletes are highly critical of Italy’s national organizing assembly.

Kevin Bolger and Maja Dahlqvist enjoy a masked moment together after Dahlqvist finished second in the skate sprint. (Courtesy picture)


If reconstruction efforts seem to want to, it would be because a lot of effort is being made to ensure that future participants end up with sporting event centers and accompanying infrastructure that would be more than sufficient for the Games of 26. While the IOC sees the provision of adequate sports facilities as a mission of its own, it is simply apart from the larger objective of fostering greater unity among all nations.

Another problem that the Organizing Committee of Cortina 2026 wants to solve concerns the right choice of the appropriate sports center for the different events. The panel’s executive board, established earlier in the year, has created a commission board to oversee all aspects of the case. The board of the commission is further divided into an organizing body

The group is looking into the sustainability of the snow sports center and seeks to work alongside the municipal and international authorities concerned.

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