As it prepares to take centre stage upon the conclusion of both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee used this week’s Delivery Partners Meeting to share important progress updates with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Speaking about the meeting, the IOC’s Milano Cortina 2026 Coordination Commission Chair, Sari Essayah, said: “We must congratulate the team in Milan for the ongoing progress during these difficult times. Strong foundations set by the continually evolving Organising Committee have made this possible.
"Throughout all of their updates, we were really encouraged to see their avid determination to create Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that are sustainable. This is fundamental to the future of the Olympic Games, as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020+5 and the New Norm.”
She continued: “We heard that Milano Cortina 2026 continues to build on strong engagement following the launch of its new brand in March, with several exciting initiatives planned for the coming weeks. This will culminate, early next year, when the eyes of the world turn towards Italy as Beijing 2022 hands over the Olympic and Paralympic flags. Having seen the passion, excitement and professionalism within the Organising Committee, it’s clear that Milano Cortina 2026 is on time and ready to step up into the spotlight this winter.”
Giovanni Malago, President of the Milano Cortina 2026 Organising Committee, also reflected on the positive meetings. He said: “Our relationship with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee is excellent and essential to have the best workflow, now and for the following months.
"We are proud to have received positive feedback on the achievements of the Fondazione Milano Cortina 2026 during recent times. Of course, we are aware that the next months will be very important for us because, at the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, we will officially acquire the title of ‘Host Country of the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games’. This will be a reason for pride but also an assumption of more responsibility that we will be able to manage efficiently, thanks to the passion and expertise of those who are working every day to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2026 the Games for all.”
The discussions with the IOC and IPC covered the progress made since the last Coordination Commission meeting in April this year.
The team from Milano Cortina 2026 shared their learnings from the Games Education Programme held during Tokyo 2020. There, several members of their Committee gained invaluable knowledge that is helping them advance their delivery plans.
Updates on the ongoing development of their venue design were also provided. This highlighted a number of innovative solutions for events, such as combining the freestyle events in Livigno. As part of this discussion, the onboarding of ski mountaineering was introduced. This follows the decision by the IOC Session in Tokyo this year to admit the sport to the Milano Cortina 2026 programme at the request of the Organising Committee.
In addition, a number of operational and business matters were discussed. An overview of Milano Cortina 2026’s organisational design was presented. To illustrate the growth of the Milano Cortina 2026 team, it was noted that the Organising Committee staff have recently moved into new headquarters. Situated in the Allianz Tower in Milan, these offices are set to be officially inaugurated later this month.
This topic also provided an opportunity to explain the development of close relationships with the local organising committees whose expertise will help deliver Olympic and Paralympic events in each of the host regions.
On the theme of building relationships, the Milano Cortina 2026 team detailed their continued efforts to grow their brand following the launch of their Games emblems earlier this year. This has been supported by the establishment of their ambassador network, which includes former international footballer Francesco Totti, Olympic gold medallists Federica Pellegrini, Alberto Tomba and Deborah Compagnoni, and Paralympic gold medallist Bebe Vio.
Underpinning all of this is a very ambitious sustainability and legacy strategy, which aligns with the goals of the IOC and IPC in this area. With their focus on the economic, environmental and social impact the Games will have, the Milano Cortina 2026 team earned praise for what they have achieved in such a short period of time.
Looking towards the future, the Milano Cortina 2026 team explained how they will capitalise on the handover from the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. A number of national engagement programmes are set to be announced within the coming months, aimed at generating excitement amongst the local population whilst also sharing the best of Italy with the world.
The Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026 will take place between 6 and 22 February, while the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from 6 until 15 March.