With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics concluded in February, all attention turns to the next installment of the event in 2026. Although Beijing, China became the first city to host a Summer and Winter event, the 2026 event will feature a solar return engagement.
This time, two Italian cities, Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, hosted the event, some seven decades after the latter hosted the Winter Olympics of 1956.
How Milano Cortina became hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics
Two Swedish cities, Åre and Stockholm, vied to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, but ultimately, Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo came out on top following a unanimous decision by the International Olympic Committee in 2019.
Milan, which is considered the fashion capital of the world, will be the more urban of the two cities for the Olympic event and would be having its first taste as host. Cortina is more of a resort town situated around the Italian Alps. It’s a popular destination for skiers and was the designated host of the 1944 Winter Olympics. But that didn’t pan out because of global challenges. However, in 1956, the city received the right to host the Winter Olympics.
Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo are some 250 miles apart, with several events spread across both cities and other parts of the area. Due to the distance involved, three separate Olympic Villages will be erected to house athletes.
Talents Competing in the 2026 Winter Olympics: Who to watch out for
Sports agencies, bookmarkers, fans, and athletes are gearing up for the 2026 Winter Games. With snowboarder Shaun White ruled out, Kamila Valieva not thinking about the event for a long time, and Dutch speed skaters, Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst, out as well, the possibility of new talents making their way to the 2026 Winter Olympics is huge. This situation will doubtlessly affect the choices of bettors on 10Bet Ghana sports betting platforms and other online sportsbooks, as they look to identify promising talents and unicorn athletes.
The countdown to the next instalment in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo began as soon as the Olympic torch in Beijing went out. With several top talents set to miss out, who can we expect to see at the Games?
Nathan Chen, United States
Chen debuted in the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he finished in fifth place. At the just-concluded Beijing Olympics, he clawed his way to the highest podium. The United States athlete successfully increased his three world championship titles with an Olympic gold medal, creating a new world record in the men’s short event before sticking five quad jumps during an invigorating free skate performance to the artistry of Elton John.
In the figure skating team event, Chen helped the United States claim silver.
Stefania Costantini, Italy
Italy is known as a sports powerhouse, but curling hasn’t quite found the same success as football. However, that looks to change as Stefania Constantini racked up one win after another, surprising fans globally and locally, particularly during the mixed doubles event.
Partnered by Amos Mosaner, the 6 feet 6 inches athlete easily towered over every other person on the ice. What’s more, both teammates have age on their side and are some of the best talents in the sport.
Constantini’s spot-on accuracy has received the praise it deserves from spectators and coaches alike. With fame on her side, she is invested in improving curling in Italy, especially as the Winter Olympics are partly hosted by her hometown, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Nils Van Der Poel, Sweden
Nils Van Der Poel, the elite Swedish speed skater, has constantly raised the bar in the men’s event. The two-time gold medallist broke new records in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter race events. Doing so made him clinch the gold medal in speed skating for the first time in Sweden since 1988.
Van der Poel’s performance was leaps and bounds beyond his debut campaign in Pyeongchang, where he finished in 14th place in the 5,000 m race. With four years of rest and training to further improve his form, there’s no telling how far van der Poel could test the limits of speed skating and perhaps break more records.
Eileen Gu, China
Eileen Gu’s poise alone earns her points on many lists. At the Beijing games, she was easily one of the most hyped athletes. Despite having United States citizenship, Gu represented her motherland of China, putting in superb performances in three free skiing events.
Despite being a media darling, Hi remained focused on her game, making the biggest career moments to date. She clinched two gold medals in halfpipe and big air and settled for a silver in slopestyle.