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Italy is preparing to host its third Olympic Winter season Games when the cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo welcome Milano Cortina 2026 in just over three years’ time – 70 years after Cortina hosted the 1956 Games and 20 years after Torino 2006 .

In February 2026, around 2, 900 of the world’s best winter sport athletes will gather to compete for 114 sets of medals in eight sports and 16 disciplines.

Many of the events will take place at venues that already regularly host stops on the various winter sports tours.

Here are the top things you need to know as we count down towards the next Winter Olympics.

WATCH: Moment the 2026 Winter Olympics were awarded to Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo

Milano Cortina 2026 Opening Ceremony, schedule, plus event dates

The Opening Ceremony associated with Milano Cortina 2026 will be scheduled to take place on 6 February 2026 , with the Closing Ceremony on 22 February 2026 .

While the schedule is not yet announced, competition normally begins a few days in advance of the particular Opening Ceremony.

Italian stars: Why Milano Cortina 2026 will be special

Gender balance at Milano Cortina 2026

Milano Cortina 2026 is due to be the most gender-balance Olympic Winter Online games ever, with more women’s events than before.

In June, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board approved the sports and event programme for the Video games, which will see 47 per cent female participation.

Of the 2, 900 athlete quota spots, some 1, 362 will be for women with 1, 538 for men. There will be 50 women’s events around the programme.

“We have made significant progress to close the gender gap at the Olympic Winter Games, ” IOC President Thomas Bach said at the time. “We are moving from 40 per cent female participation at Sochi 2014 to 47 per cent in Milano Cortina 2026.

“We are committed to continuing to advance gender equality, and Milano Cortina 2026 will be another key milestone in this endeavour. ”

New events and sports planned for Milano Cortina 2026

There are 116 events within the calendar for Milano Cortina 2026, although two have only been included provisionally. There are eight new occasions, with one event removed since Beijing 2022 .

Ski mountaineering will make its debut at an Olympic Winter Games after a successful competition held at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Three activities will be held in that sport: men’s and women’s sprints, and a mixed relay.

A mixed team event will also be introduced in skeleton , while separate men’s plus women’s doubles events will be held in luge , replacing the particular open doubles event.

Dual moguls is going to be added to the programme within freestyle skiing for both women and men, while women will get an additional individual large hill ski jumping event.

The Alpine skiing mixed team parallel event has been removed as the men and women are due to compete at separate resorts; the two Alpine Combined events are provisional.

We Are Next | Milano Cortina 2026

Venues of the Milano Cortina 2026 Games

Milano Cortina 2026 will be the first Olympic Games to be hosted in two cities, Milano and Cortina, two regions, Lombardia and Veneto, and two Autonomous Provinces, Trento e Bolzano, covering a total area of 22, 000 km2. It will be the most geographically widespread Olympic Winter Games in history.

More than 90% of the venues to be used in 2026 already exists or will be temporary.

The main Olympic stadium, which will host the Opening Wedding ceremony, is the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium – more commonly known as the San Siro , and home of the AC Milan and Internazionale Milano football clubs; the Arena of Verona – a Roman amphitheatre dating back two thousand years – will certainly host the Closing Ceremony.

Alpine snowboarding will be split across 2 slopes, with the Olympia delle Tofane welcoming the women’s skiers and the Stelvio Slope in Bormio the men. Bormio will also hold ski mountaineering events.

Biathlon will take place in Rasen-Antholz, which already hosts an annual stop on the World Cup of that sport; sliding sports will be held at on the Eugenio Monti track which also hosted events in 1956; and curling will be held at Cortina’s Olympic Ice Stadium, which was the main stadium in 1956. Ski Jumping , Nordic combined , and Cross Country skiing competitions will take place within Van di Fiemme.

Milan will host ice hockey , short track , and figure skating ; snowboard and freestyle snow skiing will be held in Livigno.

The Stelvio Slope in Bormio will host the Men's downhill event
The Stelvio Slope in Bormio will host the Men’s downhill event

Milano Cortina 2026 official song

In March, Milano Cortina 2026 unveiled its official song , titled Fino all’alba – which usually translates as “Until Dawn”.

The song, which will be used for both the Olympic plus Paralympic Winter Games, is performed by Arisa .

It won 72 per cent of votes in a contest held on the Milano Cortina 2026 website.

Official mascots of Milano Cortina 2026

The Games’ official mascots will be revealed by the end of 2023, with a competition ongoing to design the character.

Italian schools and students took part in the competition, which is currently in the selection phase.

In February 2023, the finalists is going to be announced, with the public able to vote on a winner.

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