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Friday, February 23, 2024
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Italy Might Need Help Hosting Winter Olympics: Lake Placid an Option?

  • The 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics need help hosting some sliding events.
  • Lake Placid, N.Y., is throwing its hat in the ring as a potential alternative.
Harrison Hill-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. will host the Olympics in 2028 and likely in 2034. But the Games could hit American soil even sooner.

A $100 million-plus budget error involving the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Olympics has led organizers to explore the possibility of holding some events outside Italy — and the U.S. is among those ready to act if needed. 

Milan-Cortina officials are facing construction estimates for a sliding venue approaching $160 million, after originally proposing a roughly $60 million spend. Lake Placid, New York, host of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics, has submitted a proposal to host the 2026 sliding events, which include bobsled, skeleton, and luge.

American, German, Austrian, and Swiss Olympic committees have been contacted to serve as potential sliding hosts if necessary. If Lake Placid ends up holding Olympic events, medal ceremonies could be held in New York City to honor winners on an even grander stage.

Holding some of the Milan-Cortina events nearly 4,000 miles away would be completely unprecedented for the Olympics. No portion of any edition of the Winter Games has ever been held outside the host country.

Lake Placid’s bid has the full support of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympic Committee, but the logistical challenges of transporting athletes over the Atlantic Ocean could make the European alternative options more feasible.

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