Polo’s Olympic dream passes through Cortina: “We work every day for this goal”

That retro-style sign, Cortina, on the old railway bridge, is the symbol and image of a place that has opened up the five-circle dream to Italy. A dream that also belongs to the protagonists of the Italia Polo Challenge “Ipc 2023 Trofeo Us Polo Assn”: the first stage of the fourth edition has just begun, but we are already looking beyond. After all, Cortina d’Ampezzo was the first Italian town to host an edition of the Olympic Games, even before Rome and, 70 years later, in 2026 it will do so again, in partnership with Milan. Before the bridge, coming from the valley, you begin to glimpse something, like the flags with Futura, the logo of the Games which was unveiled during the 2021 edition of the Sanremo Festival and voted for by the Italians. The name of the emblem says it all: it will be a… future edition of the Games, with Cortina hosting three venues. The women’s downhill, the Paralympic alpine skiing and the para snowboard will take place on the legendary Olimpia delle Tofane slope, which owes its name to having hosted the competitions in the ’56 Games; the Sliding Center named in memory of the legend Eugenio Monti will instead host the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions. Finally, the Ice Stadium, the “central field” of the Olympics that have already passed in these parts, the first broadcast on TV and to see a woman, Giuliana Minuzzo, pronounce the Olympic oath.

What if one day polo were included in the Olympic programme? There is hope, the already tested structures that would host the competitions as well: in Fiames, for example, a few hundred meters from the shopping streets, the fourth edition of Italia Polo Challenge “Ipc 2023 Trofeo Us Polo Assn” will be played of arena polo realized in collaboration with the Fise (Italian Federation of Equestrian Sports). After last night’s parade, the program of matches began on Wednesday afternoon and will go on until Saturday. Six teams of three riders, champions from all over the world, a 600 square meter hospitality village branded by Natuzzi Italia to enjoy the matches braving the temperatures. It is here that a dream on horseback and in five circles is born.

“We hope so, and we work every day to pursue it -admits the head of the Fise polo department, Alessandro Giachetti, in these days in Cortina-. The polo project of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation starts from afar: from the creation of a national youth sector ( thanks to the Polo Pony training project, ed), to the organization of international events in wonderful tourist locations such as Cortina. The formula of the arena polo, with a field of smaller sizes compared to traditional polo, then also allows you to play on fields prepared for other disciplines and reconverted, such as that of Fiames, with a considerable reduction in costs. A theme, that of sustainability, which is central to our development project which we hope will one day bring polo to the Olympics”.