Calgary, Stockholm and an Italian bid involving Cortina D'Ampezzo and Milan have been named as the official candidates for the 2026 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Comittee ratified the bids on Tuesday.
The IOC members have formally backed the three bids recommended last week by their executive board, dropping Turkey's Erzurum. The election timetable has been brought forward three months because of the Italian bid
The winner is set to be announced in June when the IOC will stage the next annual meeting in its home city of Lausanne, Switzerland, around the inauguration of its new $200 million headquarters.
All three candidates have previously hosted the games. Calgary enjoyed the honor most recently when the Winter Olympics came to Canada in 1988, while Cortina hosted in 1956. Sweden's capital, however, hosted the Summer Olympics in 1912 as well as the Equestrian events during the 1956 summer games.
Superstar skier 'Toni' Sailer of Austria won the gold medal in the giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
Calgary gets green light from IOC
The coming months will be crucial for the remaining bids, with Calgary having set a non-binding plebiscite on the Games for Nov. 13.
Several Olympic bids have been defeated in referendums in recent years, including in Germany and Switzerland, home of the IOC.
"(Calgary) is working hard, communicating in their community and we are keeping away from that discussion (plebiscite)," said Juan Antonio Samaranch, who heads the IOC's evaluation of the bids.
"We continue to try to be as supportive as we can for that important milestone. But it is for the citizens of Calgary to make that decision."