(ATR) Milan-Cortina and Stockholm are the survivors in the latest bumpy ride toward the finish line of a Winter Olympic bid.
The two remain from the seven that tried to mount a bid for the 2026 Games. Referendums ended two of those bids, including one from Calgary even after the IOC included it with the bids from Italy and Sweden as finalists.
As history has shown with Winter Olympic bids, there is always the risk of further attrition, which might leave just one of the two contenders standing by the time the IOC is supposed to vote June 24.
For now, Octavian Morariu, IOC member in Romania, will run quality control over both bids as chair of the 2026 Evaluation Commission. It’s his first high profile appointment since joining the IOC in 2013. The eight member commission will visit the two cities in early 2019. IOC bid relations director Jacqueline Barrett will organize the visits and assure smooth operation of the bid process leading up to the IOC vote.
On the Italian side, CONI president and freshman IOC member Giovanni Malago will play a key role in the bid from Milan and Cortina, the 1956 host city. Italy which at one time had as many as half a dozen IOC members will be down to just three in 2019. Franco Carraro will retire in 2019 when he turns 80. The other Italian IOC member would be Ivo Ferriani, who by nature of his presidency of the international bobsleigh Federation, must lean to neutrality. And it should be noted that IOC members are not eligible to vote in elections that include their home countries.
Milan Mayor Beppe Sala is organizing the governmental support needed for the project from other municipalities and the regional government of Lombardy.
From Sweden, IOC member Gunilla Lindberg, secretary general of the Swedish NOC, is the best known advocate on behalf of the bid. She spoke during the presentation in November by Stockholm at the ANOC assembly in Tokyo along with the NOC chair Mats Årjes. The other IOC member in Sweden is Stefan Holm, an IOC Athletes Commission member.
Richard Brisius is the leader of the bid committee.
The Around the Rings Golden 25 is the annual survey of individuals who will have the most influence for the Olympic Movement in the year ahead. First published in 1997, this is the 22nd edition.
Homepage photo: Getty Images
Reported by Ed Hula.