Lviv 2022 officials to meet IOC on Ukraine bid's future

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 10, 2014 9:04 AM

By Karolos Grohmann

(Reuters) - Officials for the Lviv 2022 Winter Olympics bid will meet with the International Olympic committee as soon as possible to decide whether the troubled Ukrainian bid still meets commitments as the country is in turmoil.

In a statement sent to Reuters, Lviv officials said the bid had been essentially put on hold ahead of the presidential elections in May as Russia moved in to occupy parts of the country, including Crimea.

"We have agreed with the IOC that we will meet as soon as possible to discuss whether our bid is still able to fulfill our commitments, and to realize our dream of hosting the Olympic Winter Games; a dream which is now more important than ever," officials said.

Lviv is up against Norway's Oslo, Kazakhstan's Almaty, Krakow in Poland and Beijing with a shortlist of cities to be drawn up in July.

But the recent turmoil looks to have severely dented any chances it may have had.

"The Lviv 2022 Bid Committee, together with all interested stakeholders and parties, has done everything in its power to prepare a strong application file despite the difficult circumstances," it said.

"But our Olympic dream is currently on hold due to the current circumstances in Ukraine and at least until after the Presidential elections on May 25.

"This is why the Lviv 2022 bid team has minimized its operations and suspended promotional and media activities until the successful solution of the current challenges facing Ukraine."

Tensions have risen in the mainly Russian-speaking eastern part of Ukraine since the overthrow of the country's Moscow-backed president and the installation of a new pro-European government, which says the occupations are part of a Russian-led plan to dismember the country.

The winning host will be elected in 2015.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)