Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Sports
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

3 cities likely to make final cut after Ukrainian city withdraws bid for 2022 Winter Games

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo Ukraine's relay team Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Olena Pidhrushna and Valj Semerenko, from left, celebrate with a Ukrainian flag with writings on it after winning the gold during the women's biathlon 4x6k relay, at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The Ukrainian city of Lviv withdrew its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday June 30, 2014, becoming the third contender to drop out of the race for a games that no one seems to want. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

Enlarge Image

FILE - In this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, file photo Ukraine's relay team Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Olena Pidhrushna and Valj Semerenko, from left, celebrate with a Ukrainian flag with writings on it after winning the gold during the women's biathlon 4x6k relay, at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The Ukrainian city of Lviv withdrew its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Monday June 30, 2014, becoming the third contender to drop out of the race for a games that no one seems to want. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

LONDON - Three cities look certain to make the final cut in the race to host the 2022 Winter Olympics after the withdrawal of the Ukrainian bid from Lviv.

Lviv pulled out Monday because of the continuing political, security and economic crisis in Ukraine, becoming the third contender to drop out of the campaign for an Olympics that no one seems to want.

Lviv officials said they now plan on bidding for the 2026 Winter Games, a decision that followed talks between IOC President Thomas Bach, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Ukrainian Olympic Committee chief Sergei Bubka.

"We need to settle the main political and economic issues in Ukraine today," Bubka, the pole vault great who sits on the IOC executive board, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "We all agreed that it's best to postpone and focus on 2026. We felt it was the right decision for all parties."

Lviv's withdrawal came exactly a week before the International Olympic Committee executive board meets in Lausanne, Switzerland, to decide which cities go to the final stage.

The three remaining candidates are Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing, and Oslo.

With Lviv out, the board is likely to retain all three candidates and not reduce the field any further. The host city will be selected by the full IOC membership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.

"I think the three can go through," Bubka said. "Normally we do a short list. Maybe in this case, we don't need it. We have three good candidates."

The future of Oslo's bid also remains uncertain. The Norwegian government has yet to back the project and won't make a decision until the autumn. In addition, recent polls have shown that more than half the population opposes the games. It's possible that only two cities could be left in contention by the end of the year.

Almaty, commercial capital of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in Central Asia, hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games and would shape up as the favourite. Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympics, is bidding to become the first city to stage both the Summer and Winter Games.

Beijing proposes holding Alpine events 120 miles (190 kilometres) away in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou. And with Pyeongchang, South Korea, hosting the 2018 Winter Games and Tokyo the 2020 Olympics, the IOC would normally be reluctant to send the games to East Asia for a third straight time.

Lviv's withdrawal follows the earlier pullouts of Stockholm and Krakow, Poland.

The Swedish capital dropped out after politicians declined to give financial support. The Polish city withdrew last month after 70 per cent of residents rejected the bid in a referendum.

Even before the start of the official 2022 campaign, two potential serious contenders stayed away. St. Moritz-Davos and Munich cancelled proposed bids after voters in Switzerland and Germany voted "no" in referendums.

Potential host cities, especially in Western Europe, are concerned about the financial costs of the games. Many have been scared off by the $51 billion price tag associated with February's Winter Olympics in Sochi. Russia spent much of the record sum on long-term infrastructure projects for the entire region.

Ukraine has been in turmoil for months, roiled by Russia's annexation of Crimea and an insurgency by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country. While Lviv is located in western Ukraine, the Olympic bid had been on hold while officials hoped the presidential election that brought Petro Poroshenko to power would bring stability.

"We thought that after the election many issues would be settled and negotiations started," Bubka said. "We had positive expectations that the situation would change."

Fighting has continued, however, between government forces and the separatists, with more than 400 people killed since April. A cease fire has been violated repeatedly.

"We concluded that it would be extremely difficult to pursue the 2022 bid under current circumstances but that a future bid would make sense for Ukraine and Ukrainian sport," Bach said in a statement.

___

Follow Stephen Wilson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stevewilsonap

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media