Refurbishing the Eugenio Monti sliding track was pledged in Milan-Cortina's 2026 Winter Olympic bid ©Getty Images

The sustainability and legacy of the proposed sliding centre and speed skating oval for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics was among the topics discussed during a virtual Coordination Commission meeting.

Milan-Cortina 2026 said the Coordination Commission highlighted the ongoing efforts of its working group, which features members of the Organising Committee, local authorities and International Federations.

The working group was established earlier this year to examine concerns raised in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission report of the Milan-Cortina 2026 bid.

Bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions would take place at the Eugenio Monti sliding track under existing plans.

The facility was used when Cortina d'Ampezzo last hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956.

The IOC warned in 2018 that "major construction work" would be required for the venue to be used at the Games, with a report encouraging organisers to instead consider existing venues, such as Innsbruck in Austria and St Moritz in Switzerland.

Milan-Cortina maintained their proposal to use the Eugenio Monti track during their successful bid, with Italian officials claiming that an upgrade was planned irrespective of whether they were awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Speed skating is due to take place at the existing outdoor oval in Baselga di Pine, although the IOC Evaluation Commission reported last year that they have concerns regarding the financial viability of adding a roof to the venue.

The report said that "binding agreements for securing the long-term funding to operate the oval and ensuring the long-term viability of the facility are vital".

The project is said to require "careful examination concerning the legacy operating costs and capital investment budget, both of which appear to be on the low side".

The Coordination Commission meeting were told that economic, environmental and social sustainability was a fundamental part of Milan-Cortina 2026's vision.

Organisers have claimed the Games will represent a stimulus for the economy, while creating new opportunities and long-term employment.

Legacy plans were discussed with Milan-Cortina 2026, with it stressed that the aim is to leave future generations with arenas, mobility infrastructure and assets for tourism that are all financially sustainable.

Pledges to increase inclusion, spread the Olympic values across the country, promote healthy lifestyles through sport and provide stronger major events management expertise were also discussed.

"Milan-Cortina 2026 has made considerable progress despite the challenges posed by COVID-19," said Sari Essayah, chair of the Coordination Commission.

"The integration of Olympic Agenda 2020 and the New Norm into the project, particularly around the use of existing venues, will provide a sustainable legacy for both international sport and local communities within Italy.

"We are only at the beginning of our journey and, while there are still many key decisions to be taken, I hope that these Games will be held up as an example for future Olympic Winter Games.

"The Olympic Movement is unified in supporting the Organising Committee to realise its ambition to deliver a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave behind a legacy for generations of Italians to enjoy.

"The solid foundations that Milan-Cortina 2026 has built are testament to the cooperation and collaboration of the Olympic and local stakeholders which shows that we truly are stronger together."

CONI President Giovanni Malagò has vowed to deliver an
CONI President Giovanni Malagò has vowed to deliver an "unforgettable Games" ©Getty Images

IOC President Thomas Bach was among those to join the virtual Coordination Commission meeting, as well as Milano-Cortina 2026 and Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) President Giovanni Malagò.

Milan-Corina 2026 chief executive Vincenzo Novari was also present.

Prior to the meeting, Bach had issued another warning to the Italian Government over its draft sports law, claiming the IOC would be "very concerned" with the country organising the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games if it is approved.

Bach said the IOC's concern regarding the sports law was "growing" and again warned the CONI that it could be suspended if it is passed by the Government.

The IOC President confirmed the organisation had written to Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora outlining its issues with the law, which could severely reduce the role of the CONI in Italian sport.

Approval of the draft law would constitute Government interference in a National Olympic Committee, which is strictly prohibited under the Olympic Charter.

At the end of 2018 the Italian Parliament approved a law which would see a separate Government-controlled organisation established to distribute funds to the country's national governing bodies.

This body, called "Sport e Salute" – or Sport and Health – would allegedly reduce CONI's role to only handling preparation for the Olympic Games.

The Coordination Commission, however, has praised the passing of an Olympic Law earlier this year by the Italian Parliament.

This law dictates the organisation and governance of Milan-Cortina 2026.

"I am delighted to welcome IOC President Thomas Bach and the Milan-Cortina 2026 Coordination Commission, brilliantly chaired by Sari Essayah," Malagò said.

"I am deeply grateful for their words and the continual support they provide towards our efforts.

"This was our first meeting, albeit virtual, after being awarded the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at the IOC Session.

"Along with the staff headed by Vincenzo Novari, during these difficult months we have been working to shape the Organising Committee and these Italian Games through an innovative and sustainable approach.

"We are aware of the many important challenges yet to come, but we are ready to face them as a team, with the IOC and the Milan-Cortina 2026 stakeholders, in order to deliver an unforgettable edition of the Games."

Milan-Cortina 2026 reported that they now have more than 50 employees, many of whom hold existing expertise in winter sports events.

The Organising Committee said its planned staffing model will see the core team consist of around 600 people, with four decentralised departments established to focus on governance, Games delivery, digital and revenues.

The Italian bid defeated a Swedish entry from Stockholm-Åre by 47 votes to 34 in June 2019, at the IOC Session in Lausanne.