By Andrew Warshaw at the International Sports Event Management Conference in London

Zakopane 08-11-12November 8 - Poland is considering putting forward Zakopane as a candidate to stage the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games – going head to head with Ukraine, with whom the country jointly staged the 2012 UEFA European Championship.

Tomasz Zahorski, legal director of Poland 2012, said the success of the tournament had raised hopes of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics for the first time.

Ukraine has already announced that the picture postcard resort of Lviv, one of its four Euro 2012 venues, would be a candidate for the 2022 Winter Games.

Barcelona, Oslo Munich and St Moritz are being touted as other potential bidders.

Zahorski revealed that due to the success of Euro 2012, Poland, with one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, might go into partnership again for the Winter Games – this time with Slovakia.

Kriváň slovakia 08-11-12Tomasz Zahorski claimed that Poland might launch a joint bid with Slovakia for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics

"With Euro 2012 both with the bidding phase and in delivery we did a good job," Zahorski told insidethegames.

"Credibility is always the key.

"Poland showed we are a credible partner and can deliver and stage a world class event.

"[A Winter Olympics] would be a 10-year project but we've proved we can work under time pressure.

"Nothing has been decided.

"It will be the decision of our National Olympic Committee but I believe they are thinking about it, maybe a joint bid with Slovakia."

euro 2012 poland 08-11Spurred on by the success of the 2012 UEFA European Championship, Poland is confident in bidding for the 2022 Winter Games

Zahorski said he understood that first-time bidders often have to swallow the disappointment of losing.

"Bidding decisions are always very political things which depend on the views of all the sports federations involved," he said.

"But by the end of 2013 a decision on bidding will have to be formulated.

"You can't always expect that the first time you bid, you win.

"It's important to gain experience of the process and also gain experience of what is needed by being involved."

The 2018 Winter Games are being staged in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after which there would be a case for bringing them back to Europe.

"We still can't compare with the Alps or the Dolomites but skiing is getting better in Poland," said Zahorski.

"It would be a great thing to happen."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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