Lombardy and Trentino in Italy have begun continuous dialogue with the IOC ©Getty Images

Lombardy and Trentino have begun continuous dialogue with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over potentially hosting the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2028.

Any hosting by the two regions would see a major winter multi-sport event return to the north of Italy just two years after the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics.

Milan is the capital of Lombardy and is due to host the Opening Ceremony at the San Siro at the next Winter Games, as well as speed skating, short track and ice hockey.

Lombardy is also due to host Alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, snowboard and freestyle in Livigno and Bormio.

Trentino, an autonomous province, is planned as the host of cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined in Val die Fiemme in 2026.

Many of the same venues would likely be used again if Lombardy-Trentino staged the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2028 and the event would be seen as a great legacy victory for Milan-Cortina 2026.

The candidacy was discussed as the IOC Executive Board met this week.

Many Milan-Cortina 2026 venues could be used again in 2028 ©Getty Images
Many Milan-Cortina 2026 venues could be used again in 2028 ©Getty Images

"There was a discussion about the Winter Youth Olympic Games," said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams.

"There's no decision as yet but there's a continuous dialogue with Lombardy-Trentino."

The next Winter Youth Olympic Games are planned for 2024 in Gangwon in South Korea.

These Games will be seen as legacy of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, with many of the same venues used again.

Lombardy-Trentino's continuous dialogue phase is part of the IOC's new system of selecting host cities which looks to avoid bidding races.

It is described as "non-committal discussions between the IOC and interested parties with regard to hosting future Olympic Summer/Winter Games or Summer/Winter Youth Olympic Games".

The next phase would be targeted dialogue.

No other interested cities were mentioned by Adams with regards to 2028.