International Paralympic Committee President and International Olympic Committee member Andrew Parsons was quick to congratulate Milan Cortina 2026 on its successful bid to host the Winter Paralympic Games ©IPC

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Andrew Parsons claimed the 2026 Winter Paralympic Games in Milan and Cortina D'Amprezzo promised much for future generations after the Italians beat Stockholm Åre. 

"I would like to send my warmest congratulations to the Milan-Cortina 2026 Bid Committee for their success in winning the right to stage the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games," Parsons, who as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took part in today's vote, said. 

"Italy has a very rich history of staging major winter Para-sport events, having staged multiple World Championships, as well as the Turin 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

"These Games promise much for future generations of Italians; they increase sport participation, encourage sustainability and drive social inclusion."

Italy had also hosted the very first edition of the Paralympic Games as we know them now when Rome staged the Summer event in 1960. 

Italy have strong traditions at the Winter Paralympics winning 66 medals, including 14 golds, and will dream of further success on home snow and ice when the Games are due to take place between March 6 to 15 in 2026. 

At Pyeongchang 2018, 25 athletes represented the nation as vision impaired Alpine skier Giacomo Bertagnolli and guide Fabrizio Casal winning two gold medals, one silver and one bronze. 

Manuel Pozzerle also picked up a silver in the men’s snowboard cross SB-UL.

Giacomo Bertagnolli and his guide Fabrizio Casal were among Italy's Paralympic medallists at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
Giacomo Bertagnolli and his guide Fabrizio Casal were among Italy's Paralympic medallists at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

Parsons claimed he was confident that Milan Cortina 2026 will deliver great Games which will engage new audiences in winter sports.

"One of the stand-out features of the bid is the use of existing or temporary venues, with a strong emphasis on long-term legacy use," he said.

"Throughout the process, Milan Cortina 2026 has been in close liaison with the IPC and has done much to drive down costs in line with Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm reforms. 

"We look forward to working with the Organising Committee that will be established over the next seven years."

IPC Athletes' Council chairperson Chelsey Gotell, one of dozens to send congratulations on social media, claimed athletes would now be able to start their preparations for the Games in their bids for Paralympic glory in seven years' time.

"I am confident that between now and the Games, the Organising Committee will place athletes at the heart of its decision-making and will deliver athlete-centred Games," she said. 

IPC Board member Muffy Davis was a member of the eight-strong IOC Evaluation Commission.