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IOC evaluation commission chief Octavian Morariu 'very, very positive' about Italy's 2026 Winter Olympics bid

Milan: International Olympic Committee (IOC) evaluation commission chief Octavian Morariu on Thursday hailed Italy's bid to host the 2026 Winter Games as "very, very positive" as inspectors visited the iconic San Siro Stadium where the opening ceremony would be held.

Italy's financial capital Milan and ski resort Cortina D'Ampezzo in the Dolomites are presenting a joint bid to stage Italy's fourth Olympic Games.

 IOC evaluation commission chief Octavian Morariu very, very positive about Italys 2026 Winter Olympics bid

Octavian Morariu (C) visited the iconic San Siro stadium. Twitter @iocmedia

"My first impression is that we are dealing with very good people, people that are passionate about what they do," former Romanian international rugby player Morariu told reporters at the 80,000-seater San Siro.

"They have very good expertise, they are used to organising competitions, there is a strong identity of each of these venues and this is very, very positive for the bidding."

IOC inspectors will conclude their five-day visit on Saturday, having already inspected Stockholm, the only other bidder.

The Italian bid proposes to hold figure skating, hockey and short-track speedskating in Milan, with sliding sports and curling in Cortina; and speedskating, biathlon and Nordic sports at Val di Fiemme, in Trentino.

The alpine skiing events would be in Bormio (men) and Cortina (women).

The opening ceremony would be at the San Siro, with the closing at Verona's Arena, a large Roman amphitheatre.

"This would be a fantastic experience for the athletes. It's an iconic venue," said Morariu, 57, of the San Siro which hosted six matches at the 1990 World Cup.

The Romanian said that possible plans to build a new stadium in Milan to replace the San Siro were not a "particular concern".

"We are fortunate we could choose maybe between two locations so I don't think this is a big issue," he added.

Reports on both bids are expected by the end of May with a final vote at the IOC Session in Lausanne on June 24.

Italy have hosted the Olympics three times, with Cortina hosting the Winter Games in 1956 and Turin in 2006. Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Games.

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Updated Date: Apr 04, 2019 21:03:07 IST

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