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June 24, 2019

The Olympics are slip-sliding back into Italy.

Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo will host the 2026 Winter Olympic games, the International Olympic Committee announced Monday. The decision means Italy will host another winter games 20 years after it held them in Turin, and comes as the IOC moves toward condensing games to fewer locations with reliable funding, The Associated Press reports.

The decision came down to Stockholm and its nearby ski resort of Are, Sweden, and the joint Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo bid. Cortina d'Ampezzo is a ski resort that's a few hours' drive from Milan, and held the winter games in 1956 as well. Skeptics worried that Italy couldn't handle such a large-scale event given its recent economic troubles that derailed its previous Summer Olympic bids. But Italy's Undersecretary of State Giancarlo Giorgetti pointed out that Milan-Cortina are "two of the richest provinces in Europe," AP notes.

Italy isn't alone in its financial woes, seeing as nations are known to spend billions of dollars fulfilling their Olympic hosting duties. That reality has led the IOC to consider rotating between a few economically sound cities, or letting broader areas split hosting duties. Turin was originally included in Italy's 2026 bid, but dropped out amid a "political squabble among the cities' mayors," The New York Times says.

Watch Sweden get the bad news below. Kathryn Krawczyk

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