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  • ATR First: Venue Change for 2026 IOC Decision Possible


    (ATR) Plans could be in the works to change the location of the IOC vote on the host Olympic Winter Games now that a bid from Italy appears certain.

    The Olympic Charter prohibits a country bidding for the games from hosting the IOC session where the vote will be taken. Milan was chosen last year as the host for the 2019 IOC session, even though there was talk the city could be part of a 2026 Winter Olympic bid.

    Since then support has coalesced among Italian sports and government leaders for a bid from Milan and 1952 host Cortina D’Ampezzo. Turin, host of the 2006 Winter Games, bowed out of a three city bid earlier this month. But there still is talk that the Piemonte capital might still pursue a bid on its own or find a way to work with Milan and Cortina.

    Around the Rings
    is hearing that the IOC could propose handling the 2026 vote next July when the membership will meet in Lausanne to review the technical aspects of the bids that make the final stage of the process. The bid city briefing has become a customary part of the process for IOC members, who can no longer travel to those cities for inspections.

    Last year at the briefing in Lausanne for the 2024 and 2028 bids from Paris and Los Angeles, the IOC more or less confirmed each was the choice, each the only candidates for this first-ever double award of the Summer Games.

    Despite the certainty, the IOC waited until September and the session in Lima to go through the formality of presentations from the two cities as well as a vote with preordained results.

    A move by the IOC to change the venue from Milan to Lausanne for the 2026 vote will likely save money and resources. With the IOC eager to make the bidding process simpler and more efficient, scheduling the IOC vote on a host city at a session dedicated to that issue seems reasonable.

    IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper has said that the IOC would deal with the question of the Milan session once there was the certainty of an Italian Winter Olympic bid.

    The IOC Executive Board meets next week in Buenos Aires where the question could come up. The earlier the better for planning, both for the IOC and the cities involved in the 2026 candidature process.

    There is no immediate comment from the IOC.

    Along with the Italian bid, other contenders currently include 1988 host city Calgary, Stockholm and Erzurum in Turkey.

    Changing the voting schedule for the 2026 decision would allow Milan to continue with its plans to host the IOC session next September. While the drama, such as it is, of the host city election won’t be part of the program, an Italian victory next July would set the stage for a glorious victory lap in Milan.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.

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