Milan Cortina 2026 Olympics – last call for bobsledding in Cortina

The presidents of Confindustria Veneto and Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti wrote a letter to the IOC. Carraro and Berton: "The bobsled, skeleton and luge competitions should be assigned to Cortina. Urgent matter of national interest."

Economy - published on 30 January 2024

Source: press office Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti

Venice-Belluno, Jan. 27, 2024 – In a joint letter addressed to the International Olympic Committee in the person of President Thomas Bach, the presidents of Confindustria Veneto and Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti, Enrico Carraro and Lorraine Berton, launch a final appeal so that – sledding, bobsledding and skeleton competitions be assigned, without any hesitation, to Cortina d’Ampezzo where work on the Sliding Center will soon begin, for which the Pizzarotti company, among the leading Italian and European companies in the field of large public works, has come into the field.

The letter-appeal was sent to the IOC in recent hours and, for information, to Giovanni Malagò (President of the Italian National Olympic Committee), Andrea Abodi (Minister for Sport and Youth), Matteo Salvini (Minister of Infrastructure and Transport), Luca Zaia (President of the Veneto Region), Attilio Fontana (President of the Lombardy Region), Maurizio Fugatti (President of the Autonomous Province of Trento), Arno Kompatschner (President of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano), Gianluca Lorenzi (Mayor of Cortina d’Ampezzo) and Giuseppe Sala (Mayor of Milan).

The missive was also sent to Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

Carraro and Berton address President Bach and the entire committee “with urgency and concern” speaking of “a strategic issue for the future of entire territories and for the full success of the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.

The two presidents of Confindustria Veneto and Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti emphasize that the bobsled track in Cortina is “one of the cornerstones of the Olympic bid-and its consequent success-as well as the only real guarantee of real Olympics in the territory, with races, athletes and vibrant Olympic spirit.

“This is not a fetish, but a sports infrastructure heir to a great tradition – which began with the 1956 Olympics – and projected into the future” Carraro and Berton write, recalling that “other fundamental elements are linked to the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton races, such as that of the Olympic village and, more generally, the Olympic legacy itself, made up of concrete works, visibility, trust and good practices.”

“Failure to assign the aforementioned competitions to Cortina risks triggering a domino effect capable of zeroing out the scope of the event. This is a hypothesis that we want and must avert.

To put it in other words, Cortina does not deserve half or reduced Olympics: this would create a clear imbalance between territories in what had been hailed as the first “widespread” Olympics in history, capable of aggregating mountain and metropolitan area of a single nation.”

“Can an Olympics be a source of inequality? We really believe not” the position of Carraro and Berton.

“We then strongly reject the representations of some Environmental Associations that, although absolutely a minority, make the big voice forgetting that a living mountain cannot disregard sustainable and efficient infrastructures and works.

The same notice of the Infrastructure Company (Simico) – issued in late December – accepted a number of changes, making the plant “light” and functional, as expressly requested by the Veneto Region and the Ministry of Infrastructure, respectively in the persons of President Luca Zaia and Minister Matteo Salvini.

These Associations also forget to say that the Belluno mountains are already among the most constrained and protected areas in Italy and Europe, and that the Dolomites – of which Cortina is the undisputed Queen – are a Unesco World Heritage Site because their people and businesses have been able to maintain a unique environment over time, integrating anthropic, environmental and landscape elements.”

There are also no shortage of socio-economic considerations.

“True Olympics are also an engine of development in a territory, that of the Upper Veneto, which needs to regain attractiveness, both in terms of investment and talent, so people, young people in particular.
The province of Belluno alone loses over a thousand inhabitants a year, and only a unique and extraordinary event like an Olympics can reverse this dramatic trend.

The Veneto Region itself, the first tourist region in Italy and among the most productive in Europe, believes in the Olympics to consolidate a strategic asset, to which entire manufacturing sectors such as Sportsystem are linked. Increasing Veneto’s GDP means doing good for the country, of which it has always been the locomotive.

It is therefore an undeniable matter of national interest.

At stake, therefore, is not just a bobsled track, there is much more: there is the Olympic dream of an entire territory that cannot fade away for mere ideological or pre-packaged positions.”

Carraro and Berton, finally, confirm the commitment of Confindustria Veneto and Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti – “To the Pizzarotti company and, more generally, to the companies mobilized for the Olympics, we guarantee our full support as Associations of the territory, which in the territory live, work and want to continue to stay and grow with responsibility, confidence and a sense of the future” the two presidents’ conclusion.

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