March 5 - Kraków's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will help develop facilities and infrastructure in Slovakia that could help boost the country's ski tourism industry, it has been claimed.
Although the bid is being strongly billed as a Kraków one, Alpine skiing events will be held across the border for logistical reasons due to the fact that there are no courses in Poland which fulfil International Skiing Federation (FIS) criteria regarding steepness.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have never previously sanctioned such a proposal for a Games encompassing two countries but the possibility is permitted under Rule 35.2 of the Olympic Charter - which allows joint bids for "geographical or topographical reasons".
Lubomir Soucek, head of media communications at the Slovak Olympic Committee, revealed that the country's Government has set aside €177 million ($243 million/£146 million) for the Games, although only €8 million ($11 million/£6.6 million) of this will go directly towards facilities.
"This spending is necessary for the future development of the region and will go towards improving roads and other infrastructure," he told insidethegames.
"We also want to put the Jasna resort, which has held Grand Prix events since 1939, back on the Alpine skiing map and are investing into ski tracks and cable-ways to do that.
"The resort is holding the World Junior Championships at the moment and we want to make it a regular World Cup venue."
He added that, after bidding unsuccessfully for the 2002 and 2006 Games, there is no Slovakian plan to bid individually for a Games in the near future.
Kraków is one of five cities bidding for the Games - along with Almaty, Beijing, Lviv and Oslo - and was the only one not to hold a press event in Sochi during last month's Olympic Games after a proposed briefing was cancelled due to personal circumstances.
"We would like to highlight that this is a bid from Poland - it was agreed by the Prime Ministers of Poland and Slovakia that it is Kraków that will run for 2022," a bid spokesperson told insidethegames.
"The reason why we would like to organise the Alpine competitions in Slovakia is that we share the beautiful Tatra Mountains region with our Slovakian neighbours, historically they have been considered a unified region of amazing beauty and they are very supportive of hosting the Alpine skiing events at Jasna.
"Jasna is the leading Central European skiing resort, with millions of dollars of infrastructure already invested.
"The FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships 2014 is being hosted there at the moment and we're looking forward to organising our Olympic Alpine competitions there."
December 2013: Kraków 2022 hires McLatchey's EKS to help with Olympic bid
December 2013: Exclusive - Kraków is a Polish bid for 2022 Olympics with some events in Slovakia insists leader
November 2013: Poland and Slovakia confirm joint bid for 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics
October 2013: Joint Poland-Slovakia bid for 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics to be launched next week
March 2013: Poland and Slovakia Prime Ministers back joint bid for 2022 Winter Olympics