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  • IOC Visits Milan for 2026 Seminar


    (ATR) The newly announced organizing committee for Milan Cortina 2026 gets down to business.

    Milan-Cortina 2026 Foundation members (CONI/ Midfielder GMT Sport)
    The Milan Cortina 2026 Foundation was established on the eve of the first visit by Sari Essayah, head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 2026 Games. Essayah was part of a delegation, including the IOC Director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi, attending the first international seminar for 2026 in Milan this week.

    The Foundation includes the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, the Mayor of Cortina, Gianpietro Ghedina, the President of the Lombardy Region, Attilio Fontana , the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee, Giovanni Malagò, and the President of the Italian Paralympic Committee, Luca Pancalli.

    The Board of Directors for 2026 will consist of 22 members, including 10 members of the sports world, 10 members of the Territories, a representative of the Government and the President.

    The two-day International Seminar, which opened on Tuesday, was organized by the IOC in collaboration with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the local authorities involved in the project. CONI described the gathering as two days of "in-depth analysis, reflections and suggestions destined to accompany the long march that will lead" to Milan-Cortina 2026.

    Sari Essayah (center) and Christophe Dubi (far right) with Milan-Cortina 2026 leaders (CONI/Mezzelani GMT Sport)
    Essayah, the IOC member from Finland, called Milan-Cortina a “real El Dorado for the Games” in her opening remarks.

    “We will work to leave an important legacy, that goes far beyond the event and we will take every opportunity to do so. We can create a new standard destined to become an example for the future,” she added. 

    “The Seminar will give a perspective, will introduce everyone's ideas and will be a basis for building the future of Milan Cortina,” said Malagò, who is also an IOC member.

    Vicenzo Novari, the new CEO of Milan Cortina 2026, admitted there could be a few bumps along the road. "The most delicate point will be to keep the stakeholder team together because there are different sensitivities and six years in which the country will change a lot from the point of view of the assets. With the collaboration of the IOC we can overcome the challenges that this great opportunity will present us and do something important.”

    Dubi, in comments during the second day of the seminar, talked about the potential of the Olympics to engage people.

    "We think that through the Games we can positively change people's lives thanks to sport," he says. "We must ensure that the involvement takes place as soon as possible. Athletes are the fulcrum and the Games can be a driving force of fundamental inspiration, in schools and in many youth contexts. You can mix sports, with music and many other elements to make everything a lot more interesting. We must use all the beauty of the country to make the Games fly, taking advantage of the positive energy that characterizes them."

    In closing comments, Essayah called the seminar "a good springboard for the future" and urged all the stakeholders to "never forget our values and athletes".

    Written by Gerard Farek

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