A Senior Polish official said this week that his nation should consider a joint Olympic Winter Games bid with Slovakia to “build and expand sports and tourism infrastructure together.”
The Speaker of Poland’s lower house of parliament, Marek Kuchciński made the remarks during his visit to Slovakia, website onet.pl reported. He said he has been encouraged by the nations’ medal results so far on PyeongChang that include one gold and 1 bronze medal for Poland and one gold and two silver medals for Slovakia. Poland earned four gold medals at the Sochi Games in 2014.
Andrej Danko, the Speaker of Slovakia’s parliament, agreed that the two countries could organize the Games together as part of a broader arrangement that would lead to the improvement of sports infrastructure in the region.
Early last year a group in Poland proposed a joint bid with the Czech Republic, but those plans didn’t materialize.
The Polish city Krakow bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games but was defeated by a referendum in 2014 when almost 70 per cent said they were opposed to the project. Krakow was one of five European cities that fell out of the race before the final election due to concerns over costs and risks. Beijing went on to defeat Almaty in Kazakhstan as the only two remaining cities in the race.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has since rebuilt the Olympic bid process, introducing several cost-saving measures that leverage the Olympic Agenda 2020 policy reforms that were first introduced in 2013. Among the changes, the IOC will allow regional bids that cross international borders as a way to benefit from existing facilities.
The deadline to express interest in hosting the next available Winter Games in 2026 is March 31, leaving little time for Poland and Slovakia to organize a campaign against Sion, Calgary, Sapporo and Stockholm. If the two nations target 2030 instead, they may face strong the American competition likely from Salt Lake City, Denver or Reno-Tahoe.
The IOC hasn’t ruled out siting both the 2026 and 2030 Games to the current applicants at the same time, as they did when Paris and Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games last year.
The IOC will elect a 2026 host city in September 2019.