Monday, June 24, 2019
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Italy will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, taking the Winter Games to the Alpine country for the second time in 20 years.
International Olympic Committee members voted for the long-favored Milan-Cortina bid over Stockholm-Are from Sweden that also included a bobsled track in Latvia.
Milan-Cortina's jubilant delegation broke into chants of "Italia! Italia!" when the result was announced.
Italy last hosted in Turin in 2006, and the Alpine ski resort Cortina previously hosted the Winter Games in 1956.
Sweden's spirited late campaign effort was in vain, including the mayor of Stockholm appealing to voters from the stage by singing a lyric from Abba song `Dancing Queen'.
A sign of simmering Swedish frustration came minutes later when IOC board member Gunilla Lindberg pushed the limit of Olympic diplomacy ending her team's 30-minute presentation.
Lindberg challenged her colleagues to reward a new kind of creative, cost-effective bid the IOC has said it wanted -- "Or is it just talk?"
Instead, IOC members picked Italy despite a debt-hit economy which faces increasing European Union scrutiny.
"We submit with full confidence to your judgment," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told voters.
Both candidates would likely have failed to get this far in previous Olympic bidding contests.