16 October 2023
16 October 2023
The full speech delivered by Milano Cortina 2026 President Malagò during the 141st IOC Session held in Mumbai, India
Please find below the full speech delivered by Milano Cortina 2026 President Giovanni Malagò during the 141st IOC Session held in Mumbai, India, today October 16th 2023:
Dear President Bach,
Dear colleagues and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
it is important to be here today to get your energy and ideas, to reiterate the fascination of our project, but also to share the undoubted progress made by the Organizing Committee in the last year, despite the increasingly complex and critical conditions of the political and economic framework worldwide.
Milano Cortina 2026 represents an extraordinary opportunity for the Olympic movement, for Italy and, in general, for the whole world of sport.
The Winter Games come back to Europe, in the heart of the Alps, one of the natural cradles of winter disciplines, to stage an important and somewhat pioneering edition: an Olympic and Paralympic celebration spread over a very wide territory, featuring an extraordinary heritage of people, cultures and skills.
I thank my IOC colleagues for the invaluable and patient contribution to our daily work. My gratitude also goes to the International Federations. The constant and constructive relationship with them is essential for the success of the Games. I also take the opportunity to thank Kristin Kloster, the new Chair of the Coordination Commission, whose vast experience will be of great help in our effort.
There is no doubt we have a big opportunity to show once again how Italy and the Italian people are able to make something beautiful. Since our last report in 2022, the Organizing Committee underwent a very important change in governance which has brought new energy to our project, including the full involvement of the Italian Government. This represents once again what the Games are for our country. Italy is ready and will present itself to the best of its ability: the example of the recent Ryder Cup in Rome demonstrated our capabilities and the affection that our country has for sporting events
Among the progress marked in many areas, allow me to highlight the working progress on the fundamental issue of our venues: the works are fully financed and proceeding according to plans, with the sole exception of the Cortina Sliding Centre.
As you know, this venue has been at the center of a long and controversial process. Since the spring, a public tender procedure has been under way, going through different stages. The realization of a Sliding Centre, a public investment, is not, in any way, within the perimeter of our decisions or responsibilities.
The recent years' dramatic international scenario has forced a reflection on the resources originally allocated by the Italian Government as investment for this venue. And the ability to attract some construction companies, capable of carrying out a complex project like the Sliding Center, has not produced many results.
As recently as two days ago, the Government informed us that it is considering the best and most sustainable option: to not go ahead with the Sliding Center and move the sliding competitions to an already existing and working venue.
As a result, Milano Cortina 2026 has to identify another venue outside Italy. We are already working to explore all possible solutions. We will analyze the alternatives together with the IOC and the International Federations, before submitting the choice to our Board for final approval. And in this regard, it is important to remember that a decision like this will impact the operation and as consequence the budget of the Organizing Committee.
In conclusion, I can assure you that, despite all the hurdles, our efforts are aimed at the future. At the Games.
A positive energy that will allow us to deliver a memorable moment of sport and togetherness…
…And we will be ready!
CREDITS: IOC/Greg Martin