The Paralympic Flag arrived at Milan's Malpensa airport with the Italian team from Beijing 2022 ©Milan Cortina 2026

The arrival of the ceremonial  Winter Paralympic Flag in Milan has been described as a powerful message from the world of sport "even in the the darkest moments of our history,”

The Flag, which touched down at Milan's Malpensa Airport from Beijing, was carried by Milan’s Deputy Mayor Anna Scavuzzo and Gianpietro Ghedina, the Mayor of Cortina d'Ampezzo, who had received it during the Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing yesterday. 

It was welcomed by Italian Olympic Committee President Giovanni Malagò, who also leads the Milan Cortina 2026 Foundation organising the Games.

Malagò offered its arrival as a ray of hope as the world struggles to come to terms with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

"The arrival of the Paralympic flag completes the investiture process of Milan Cortina 2026 as the Organising Committee of the next Winter Games," he said.

"But today even more, this symbol, together with the Olympic banner, represents the message that the world of sport addresses to the whole world so that the values of respect, integration and loyalty prevail even in the darkest moments of our history."

For the previous four years, the flag had been held in the custody of the Beijing city authorities and was handed over by Mayor Chen Jinin at the Paralympic Closing Ceremony.

It had been accompanied on its flight to Milan by members of the Italian Paralympic team which won two gold medals, three silvers and two bronze at Beijing 2022.

"We are happy to bring this flag back to Italy after 20 years," Italian Paralympic Committee Luca Pancalli said.

"This flag contains our dreams and the visions that we will try to transform into reality taking up the challenge of making the best Games of all time.

"Our goal continues to be to try to give a further impulse to the growth of the Italian and international Paralympic family and to change, through sport, the culture of the country and the perception of disability."

The Flag which displays the Paralympic emblem of blue, red and green agitos is set to be displayed alongside the five-ringed Olympic handover flag until the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.