Ukraine bid for 2022 Winter Olympics set to go ahead
Thursday, 18 October 2012
October 18 - Ukraine is set to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics through the city of Lviv after a major Sport Congress hosted here in the capital rubberstamped the plan in a resolution that was unanimously voted on.
The Congress saw all of Ukraine's national summer and winter sport federations participating while key figures included Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, vice Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov and, of course, Sergey Bubka (pictured top), the President of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee (NOC).
Bubka, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board member, played a key in pushing for the bid to go ahead and the pole vault world record holder and Seoul 1988 Olympic champion is now likely to play the lead role in the bid team.
"This is a historic moment for sport in the Ukraine," Bubka said.
"An Olympic and Paralympic project would help to create a lot of jobs in the area.
"It would be a great investment for the region and create a huge legacy for winter sports and tourism."
The bid from Lviv will see the picturesque Carpathian Mountains, the second-longest mountain range in Europe, play a central role and it comes after a feasibility was conducted that revealed a bid will greatly enhance prospects and infrastructure in the area.
"This is also a good opportunity to help winter sport in Ukraine because while we are strong in summer sports, we are not so strong winter sport," continued Bubka, who is also vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
"But a Winter Games would change that and help create more top winter sport athletes in the area."
The bid comes after the 2012 UEFA European Championship, which Ukraine co-hosted with Poland, drew widespread praise, with Lviv having hosted several matches at the event in the stunning 34,915 capacity Arena Lviv.
Spearheaded by the influential Bubka, the Lviv bid for the 2022 Winter Games will undoubtedly be a strong candidate, particularly after the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) revealed that it would not be bidding for the event, instead turning its focus to either 2024 or 2026.
Oslo in Norway, Barcelona in Spain and Munich in Germany are being touted as other potential bidders for the event at this early stage but Ukraine has the advantage of having never hosted the Games before whereas the other likely bidders have.