As the 2022 Winter Olympics wind to a close in Beijing, many athletes and fans already are looking forward to the next installment.
While Beijing made history as the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Games, the 2026 Winter Olympics will also feature a return engagement of sorts.
The Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will host the 2026 Games, 70 years after the latter was home to the 1956 Winter Olympics.
The Sporting News looks at everything you need to know about the next Winter Olympics:
Where are the 2026 Winter Olympics?
Milan Cortina will host the 2026 Olympics and Paralympics as the Winter Games return to Italy 20 years after Turin played host. The Games will be held from Feb. 6-Feb. 22, 2026.
The joint bid from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo beat out a similar effort from Sweden’s Stockholm and Are in voting by International Olympic Committee members in June 2019.
Known as a world fashion capital, Milan will be the urban center of the 2026 Games as it welcomes the Olympics for the first time.
Cortina is a resort town in the Italian Alps and renowned skiing destination. It was scheduled to host the 1944 Winter Olympics before those Games were canceled due to World War II and eventually was awarded the 1956 Winter Olympics.
The Italian cities are about 250 miles apart, and competitions will be held in both locales and several others around the region. The distances involved mean athletes will be housed in three separate Olympic Villages.
"Faster, higher, stronger - Together"— Milano Cortina 2026 (@milanocortina26) July 20, 2021
"Più veloce, più in alto, più forte - Insieme". E' questo il nuovo motto Olimpico
Sostituirà il tradizionale ''Citius, Altius, Fortius'' ("più veloce, più in alto, più forte'), proposto da De Coubertin nel 1894#strongertogether @Olympics pic.twitter.com/OS9kec6w73
2026 Winter Olympics venues
The opening ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympics will be held at the San Siro, Milan’s iconic soccer stadium, which opened in 1926. The closing ceremony will be at the ancient Arena di Verona, which is best known as an opera venue.
Competitions in between will be scattered around Northern Italy at 14 different venues grouped into four clusters.
- Milan cluster: The larger host city will be home to hockey, figure skating and short track speed skating
- Valtellina cluster: Pista Stelvio in Bormio will host men’s alpine skiing and the newly added ski mountaineering competition, while Livigno will host snowboarding and freestyle skiing events
- Val di Fiemme cluster: Baselga di Pine will host speed skating, Predazzo is home to ski jumping and Nordic combined, and Tesero will host cross-country skiing and Nordic combined
- Cortina cluster: A remnant from the 1956 Games, the Cortina sliding center is slated to host bobsled, luge and skeleton, while Cortina’s 1956 Olympic Stadium will be home to curling. Women’s alpine skiing will be held at the Tofane, and Antholz will host the biathlon.
New events for 2026 Winter Olympics
In July 2021, the IOC approved the addition of ski mountaineering — often referred to as “skimo” — to the Milan Cortina program.
Five medal events will be contested: sprint and individual events for men and women and a mixed-gender relay.
The individual races require skiers to trek up and then down mountain terrain while passing through time checkpoints. Sprint events include uphill skiing, racing on foot, and a skiing descent. The relays are contested as a modified sprint event with multiple competitors on each team.
The IOC said of the addition: “Ski mountaineering is a particularly popular sport in Italy, with deep historical and sporting roots across the Alpine regions. Italy is also one of the world’s leading nations in the sport, with several international successes in major competitions over the past 10 years.”
Future Olympics locations
Following the conclusion of the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, the Games will return to taking place every two years, starting with Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Milan Cortina will host the 2026 Winter Games, followed by Los Angeles for the 2028 Summer Games. Brisbane will host the 2032 Summer Games.
The site for the 2030 Winter Games has not yet been determined. Two previous hosts, Vancouver (2010) and Sapporo, Japan (1972) are in the bid process. Taking a page from Beijing, 1992 Summer Games host Barcelona also is in the running as part of a joint bid known as Barcelona-Pyrenees that also includes proposed venues in France and Andorra. The 2002 host, Salt Lake City, also is interested in another go at it but reportedly is focused on 2034 due to the proximity of the Los Angeles Games in 2028.
- 2024: Paris (Summer)
- 2026: Milan Cortina (Winter)
- 2028: Los Angeles (Summer)
- 2030: TBD (Winter)
- 2032: Brisbane (Summer)