Cortina requests to postpone ski worlds to 2022

The Italian Winter Sports Federation was making a formal request on Monday to postpone next year's Alpine skiing world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo until March 2022.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago revealed the plans during an interview with RAI state TV on Sunday night.

Considering the fallout in Italy from the coronavirus pandemic, Malago said "this is the best solution" in order to avoid the championships being canceled or shortened.

"It's a decision in which we both lose but we realize this is the best -- or maybe the only thing -- to do," Malago said.

The Italian federation confirmed that the proposal would be presented during an International Ski Federation (FIS) board meeting Monday. The Italian federation added that the decision to make the proposal was made jointly by the organizing committee in Cortina, the Veneto region and the Italian government.

It will be up to the FIS to decide on any postponement.

Cortina was already forced to cancel the World Cup finals in March this year due to the advancing virus, which has now accounted for more than 30,000 deaths in Italy.

Moving the worlds to March 2022 would put the event one month after the 2022 Beijing Olympics and likely force FIS to cancel that season's finals in Meribel and Courchevel, France.

The Cortina worlds are currently scheduled for Feb. 7-21, 2021.

Worlds are usually held every other winter, in odd years.

Cortina is also slated to host Alpine events during the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics.

Also Monday, the Italian federation was planning to propose hosting a snowboardcross city event in downtown Bergamo next winter.

Bergamo, one of the hardest-hit cities in Italy by the virus, is home to Olympic snowboardcross gold medalist Michela Moioli.

Bergamo is located in the Lombardy region, where nearly 16,000 people -- including Moioli's grandmother -- have died from the virus.

"We want to provide visibility for Bergamo," Moioli told the Gazzetta dello Sport. "Our city is not only about the coronavirus disaster. It's true, a lot of people have died. But not everyone. We want to provide a sign of life and contribute to the reconstruction of our city's social fabric."