Italy to Host 2026 Winter Games

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Guest are seen in front of the Olympic House, the new International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters, after the inauguration ceremony in Lausanne, Switzlerland June 23, 2019 ahead of the decision on 2026 Winter Games host. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

Italy was won the voting process and will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The heavily favored Italy will host the Winter Olympics for the 2nd time in 20 years after the International Olympic Committee members voted for the Milan-Cortina bid over a bid from Stockholm-Are, Sweden, which included a new, improved track in Latvia.

Italy previously hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics back in 2006 in Torino, and prior to that they hosted the Winder Games back in 1956 at the Alpine ski resort Cortina.

Although Sweden lost the bid, it wasn’t without a lot of theatrics during a late campaign push which included Anna Konig Jerlmyr, the mayor of Stockholm, singing Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ on-stage to voters.

“Abba is everywhere,” the mayor said later.

Despite a debt-hit economy, Italy was selected.

“We have budget problems in Italy, but I think that this is something that everyone has,” Italy Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti said (h/t ESPN).

“They are two of the richest provinces in Europe,” Giorgetti said. “They certainly have the capacity, they have the readiness, they have the finances in order to be able to support the event.”

The IOC will contribute at least $925 million toward Italy’s Games operating costs of up to $1.7 billion.