Italy 2026 Olympic organizers sign deal to rebuild glide track amid IOC crisis
Almost two years before the start of the 2026 Winter Olympics, the local organizing committee signed a contract on Friday to rebuild a century-old bobsleigh track in Cortina d’Ampezzo, putting a “full stop” in the saga that prompted Italy’s finance minister to start To regret supporting the show.
The contract was with Parma-based construction company Impresa Pizzarotti & C, which offered to rebuild the Cortina track for 81.6 million euros (about $118 million). She said work will begin on February 19.
The Milan-Cortina Games Committee on Tuesday announced its decision to go ahead with its plans amid a standoff with the International Olympic Committee, which wants to use an existing foreign venue in neighboring Austria or Switzerland instead to cut costs. But the Italian government does not want to finance a foreign place.
“The selection puts an end to this and testifies to the extreme determination of this government to finish all work related to the Games in the best way and in Italy,” a statement said.
Next Tuesday will mark exactly two years since the opening ceremony in Milan, but the Cortina track should be ready before then. There is still less than a year to go before the IOC-mandated tests take place, and the Milan-Cortina committee understands that “under no circumstances” can the new route be adopted after March 2025.
No zipline has been built recently in such a short time frame, and organizers are continuing negotiations on an eventual replacement plan — likely in a neighboring country — that would require additional budget.
There is a risk that if it is not ready in time, the committee will have to spend more, continuing to pay for the reconstruction of the Cortina track that will not be used for the Olympics.
Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said: “The Olympic Games are not held every two years. They will come in 2026 and then they will not be held again, and I am starting to regret supporting them because I feel a responsibility.”
Giorgetti was speaking at a meeting in Sondrio, in the Valtellina valley that is also home to Bormio and where the men’s skiing is scheduled to take place.
He added that an electronic sign should be placed “at the entrance to Valtellina indicating the number of days remaining so that we understand the urgency.”