November 5 - Ukrainian city Lviv will bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after it today received final approval.
As expected, the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine (NOCU) and Lviv city officials signed letters today declaring their intent to bid for the Games.
Lviv would host the ice venues, while the ski events would take place in the nearby Carpathian mountains.
"Our bid to host the 2022 Winter Games is based on the real need of the region," said Oleksandr Vilkul, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, who will lead the campaign.
"Forty-six million Ukrainians need more sports and tourism infrastructure in the Carpathian Mountains.
"Our athletes will be able to train at home and Ukrainians will be able to enjoy winter sports in our own country."
Sergey Bubka, President of the NOCU and an influential member of the International Olympic Committee, is expected to play a leading role in the bid.
"Ten years ago I could not imagine that I would witness a Ukrainian bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," he said.
"This confirms the revival of Ukrainian sporting traditions, the development of winter sports and a new focus on the Olympic values.
"We are creating an opportunity for future generations to join the Olympic Movement and to give the world new Olympic champions."
Under plans revealed today, the official Opening and Closing Ceremonies will take place in the recently built 35,000 Lviv Arena, which hosted three matches last year's UEFA European Champinships.
The area around the Arena will serve as the Olympic Park and will accommodate ice venues, the Olympic Village and the International Broadcast and Main Press Centres.
Nordic skiing and Alpine snow events will take place in the Carpathians, located near the city, which Ukrainian officials claim is the geographical centre of Europe.
"Our plans for Lviv 2022 fit seamlessly into the city's and region's longer-term development programme," said Andriy Sadovyy, the Mayor of Lviv.
"Lviv is only 60 kilometres from the European Union and will attract millions in foreign investment, serving as a catalyst for Lviv tourism, transport and economic infrastructure development.
"The bid creates new opportunities for the city's rapid development."
Earlier in the day, the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) had made the surprise announcement that Beijing, in association with Zhangjiakou, would bid for the event.
It means that there are now three declared bidders ahead of the November 14 deadline set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with Almaty in Kazakhstan having announced in September that they would be candidates.
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