Milano-Cortina 2026: Safety of luge athletes must have top priority!
Salzburg (FIL/05. Feb. 2024) In response to the recent announcement by the Milano-Cortina 2026 Olympic Organizing Committee to proceed with the construction of a new sliding center in Cortina for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games, the International Luge Federation (FIL) confirms its highest priority is the safety of Luge athletes.
As has already been expressed by the IOC and the FIL, the very ambitious timeframe for construction, the plan for which is faster than any other track construction, gives the FIL great concern. This includes the critical necessary step of homologation no later than March of 2025 in order to address any safety issues. The FIL fully agrees with the stance taken by the IOC and now also, Milano-Cortina 2026, that a "Plan B" existing sliding venue must be pursued in parallel, in the case that major milestones for construction are missed, to ensure that there will be a venue for Luge athletes to compete. It is also critical that the Cortina track includes a long-term legacy plan as sustainability is a high priority for the FIL. This does not appear to be sufficiently addressed in the information so far provided.
“Our athletes have been training for years and in some cases a lifetime for their chance to compete in these Games and the qualification process has commenced. The Luge athletes need certainty of the venue in order to properly prepare for Olympic competition. The FIL is most appreciative for the support from the IOC of Luge athletes competing as an important part of the 2026 Olympic Winter Games. FIL technical experts will closely monitor the progress of this track in line with the above stated priorities”, emphasized FIL President Einars Fogelis".