After a long wait of 90 years, one of most significant achievements in the history of the sport will take place in 2026 – polo’s comeback as an Olympic sport. The last time polo participated in the Olympic Games was in Berlin, in 1936, where Argentina won the gold medal. As of that moment, polo has only been able to dream of rejoining the Olympics.
But that dream seems like it might become a reality soon. In June 2019, Milano Cortina was awarded the Olympic Winter Games 2026; from then on, several presentations in favour of adding polo to the event roster have been made.
It is worth noting the crucial role played by the Federation of International Polo (FIP). The FIP contacted the Italian Olympic Committee and the Organising Committee of the Olympic Winter Games 2026, in order to prepare the necessary arrangements. The next step? The International Olympic Commitee.
Meanwhile, polo also reappeared in Cortina, in 2020, through the Italian Polo Challenge. Several plans to strengthen the growth and development of their events have been made. This means that they will be able to host polo again in 2021, something that takes them a step further to fulfilling the requirements needed to close the deal.
“We are working on a project, on a dream – having polo in the 2026 Milano Cortina Olympics. We are working hard with the Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and the Italian Olympic Committee,” Alessandro Giachetti, polo manager of the FISE, and a member of the FIP, told PoloLine.
Simone Perillo, General Secretary of the FISE, stated: “We need the support of the whole polo community in order to have polo included as an Olympic sport in the 2026 Winter Olympic Games in Milano Cortina. Last February, just before the nightmare of the coronavirus, we managed to organise an exhibition of snow polo in Cortina and it was fantastic; it was played at night, and people came to watch and enjoy polo after skiing. We were able to demonstrate that snow polo can be played in Cortina, and we have received great support, not only from the people, but also from sponsors.”
“We need every country to support us – Argentina, United Kingdom, Australia, United States – all the countries that host polo around the world,” Perillo continued. “We need their support, to stand behind this dream. The Organising Committee of the Winter Olympic Games in Milano Cortina is well aware of all this, so the next step is to notify the International Olympic Committee, in Lausanne, and all the governing bodies, in order to get the support we need.”