Italy will host the 2026 Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo — a title that Calgary debated and voted on in 2018.
Sport business journalist Rob Livingstone with GamesBids.com was in Switzerland for the announcement on Monday. He said Calgary would have lost to Sweden or Italy because of the way the International Olympic Committee was considering bids.
“The direction the IOC wants to go is to reduce the amount of build to reduce the costs,” he said.
“They put all these reforms in place and that’s the direction that both Sweden and Italy went. They proposed bids with very little construction.
“In Calgary, you wanted a field house, you wanted a stadium and that’s not happening in these other two countries, or at least, that’s not happening now that Italy is the winner.”
Livingstone said Italy’s venues are spread across the country’s north and it only proposed rebuilding a sliding track.
“Calgary wouldn’t match up well with that philosophy and that’s the direction the IOC wants to go,” he said.
The IOC praised both candidates for projecting sports budgets “on average 20 per cent lower” than spending on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics and 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The 2026 contest meets the IOC President Thomas Bach’s long-stated wish to return to traditional heartlands for winter sports after major construction projects from 2014-2022 in Russia, South Korea, and China.
Italy last hosted in Turin in 2006, and the Alpine ski resort Cortina previously hosted the Winter Games in 1956.
Sweden’s wait for a first Winter Games continues.
— With files from The Associated Press