Milan fixes a date with the IOC for 2019: commission satisfied. Malagò: proud of the project


114Milan waved off the IOC delegation and legitimated the soundness of its ambitions. The inspection visit came to a close today of the Executive members of the International Olympic Committee, Ser Miang Ng (Singapore) and Willi Kaltschmitt Lujan (Guatemala) – accompanied by two officials appointed by President Thomas Bach – to assess the candidacy of the Lombardy capital as location for the 2019 Olympic Session. The final decision will be taken during the course of the meeting of the International Olympic Committee scheduled for September in Lima.


The current tour included meetings with the Prefect of Milan, Luciana Lamorgese and with the Police Commissioner of Milan, Marcello Cardona, as well as an inspection of the Mi.Co. (Milan Congress Centre), the Sala delle Cariatidi and the Last Supper, locations functional to the candidacy project, as indicated in the dossier presented on 15th March last to the IOC. The Assessment Commission was accompanied by the President of the CONI, Giovanni Malagò, by the Secretary General, Roberto Fabbricini, by the Vice Secretary General, Carlo Mornati, and by the dossier project leader, Diana Bianchedi.


The morning started with a visit to the Mi.Co. where Roberto Daneo, in charge of preparing the dossier, illustrated the contents and the strong points of the candidacy, with further details provided by Paolo Peroni, Sales Department Fiera Milano. The delegation was able to visit the areas of the facility to be assessed in accordance with the session requirements that have to be met.


The group was subsequently received by Prefect, Luciana Lamorgese and Police Commissioner, Marcello Cardona. Taking part in the meeting were also the Head of the Municipal Security Department, Carmela Rozzano, the Provincial Commander of the Carabinieri Col. Canio Giuseppe La Gala and the Provincial Commander of the Guardia di Finanza Gen. B. Paolo Kalenda.


Malagò praised the two institutional representatives as a guarantee of absolute credibility and security, and also recalled their sports backgrounds. Ser Miang Ng said he had much appreciated Milan from a planning viewpoint and also expressed his confidence in the city as regards security aspects, considering the successful outcome of events organized over the previous two years. According to the IOC member, Milan too would reap major economic benefits.  


During the meeting, the Prefect and the leading exponents of the provincial police forces illustrated the security measures normally put in place in the case of events of international importance, during which the participation of Heads of State and relative delegations also calls for the implementation of measures at diplomatic and ceremonial level.


Milan has in fact had similar experiences in the past: the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in October 2014 and the entire Expo six-month period represent a reference model which exemplifies how the Municipality of Milan and the police forces are ready to host and perfectly manage the 2019 Olympic session. Police Commissioner Cardona said just how excited the city was about having this chance to host the IOC session, and recalled the extensive endeavours – in terms of security – undertaken to organize the incident-free final of the Champions League and other sports events. He also emphasized that a team will be organized to take care of the administrative operations of the delegations from all over the world, catering to the various requests made through the CONI representative. City alderman, Rozza said just how honoured the city was to be able to host large events of this kind, seeing them as a great opportunity for growth.


The group then proceeded to visit some of the most symbolic sites of the city including the beautiful architectural features of the Sala delle Cariatidi in the Royal Palace and of the Cathedral, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. The day closed with a press conference in the Armani Silos.


Malagó (photo Filippo Gabutti-GMT) expressed his enthusiasm for a visit full of positive reactions: “These have been two very busy days and ones which have proved to be highly positive: I should like to thank the mayor, Giuseppe Sala and Governor Roberto Maroni. I speak as a man of sport; I often come to Milan and am proud to be represented by people of their standing. The two IOC members with us today are officials of outstanding importance. They came to Milan to share two pleasant days with us, but because we are well acquainted with their moral integrity, we also know that they will give nothing away when it comes to making their assessment. Hence, I feel like committing myself to some extent. We have offered a textbook example and shown unity of purpose at all levels. We have not shown ourselves desirous of being at the centre of attention. I wish to thank Diana Bianchedi and the entire work team, the IOC officials, Carlo Mornati and all those who helped us make a good impression. I am proud about the work done. We are envied for our elegance and for this we must also thank Giorgio Armani for the hospitality and touch of class he provides. Milan 2019 represents a fine opportunity for the city with major repercussions in terms of growth and tourism".


The words of mayor Gala also echoed the same satisfaction and ambition. "Thank you all for what you have done. Milan loves to build up its present and future on major events. I shall be in Lima to sustain this project and I have never denied that we should love to host the Olympic Games. Our experience of the Expo has only just ended and all I can do is thank those who dedicated us their attention, in the hope that we were able to live up to their expectations and that we will not betray the trust which I hope will be placed in us". Governor Roberto Maroni extended the speech to the Region. "I am pleased to see that Milan and Lombardy are within the horizons of the IOC, and also to see that we are part of a world of excellence like that of sport, inasmuch as a place of special values – of a training and educational nature. I too will be in Lima to celebrate what I hope will be our nomination…and so we’ll see". 


The point of view of the IOC Commission was expressed by Ser Niang Ng. "We were given a truly warm welcome and have been able to ascertain just how strong Milan’s project is. We have much appreciated the cultural and architectural aspects which complete the offer and integrate the sports context. The CONI is a very strong component of the Olympic movement and we are very satisfied with our visit and the beautiful facilities, as well as with the hospitality of the various institutional components". The visit ended with handshakes all round which very much points to investiture. In the Armani Silos, the Italian flag flies proudly, a symbol of excellence, like that of a sports environment which wants to project in the world an image of Italy at its very best.