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Italy's Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo to host 2026 Winter Olympic Games

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By Philip Pangalos
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Italy's Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo to host 2026 Winter Olympic Games
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Italy's Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games after a vote by the International Olympic Committee in Monday.

The Italian bid team literally jumped for joy after IOC President Thomas Bach announced that Milan had beaten Stockholm for the right to host the Games in seven years' time.

The announcement was broadcast on giant screens in Milan, where the opening and closing ceremonies will be held, and in Cortina, as well as in Sondrio, which is between Milan and Cortina.

Four other hosts - Swiss city Sion, Japan's Sapporo, Austria's Graz and 1988 hosts Calgary in Canada - earlier dropped out of the race with concerns over the size and cost of the event.

Italy last hosted the winter Olympics in 2006 in Turin while Cortina hosted the winter Games back in 1956.

The Italian bid gained an advantage after a recent evaluation report by the IOC showed much stronger local support for the Olympics at over 80 percent among the population, compared to just over 50 percent for the Stockholm-Are bid.

On Monday afternoon, ahead of the announcement, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stressed his country's desire to host the 2026 games.

The vote was held at the SwissTech conference center where the IOC decided the 2024 Olympics and 2028 Olympics would be held in Paris and Los Angeles, respectively.