Ukraine Sets Focus On Future Olympic Games Bid

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Tuesday advised government officials to prepare a bid to host an upcoming Olympic Games.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (Facebook Photo/Volodymyr Zelenskiy)

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (Facebook Photo/Volodymyr Zelenskiy)

Zelenskiy, a former comedian who was elected in April to lead Ukraine, hopes to develop necessary sport infrastructure that could be used to stage an Olympics.

“We should give a task to our guys, who are looking for investments, give a task to our budget, to allocate money annually to the objects we need, and then will be used for the Olympics. At least, we must try to achieve this,” Zelenskiy said during discussions with Minister of Youth and Sports Ihor Zhdanov and Ukraine Olympic Committee President Sergey Bubka while visiting Koncha-Zaspa Olympic Sports Training Center in Kiev.

“We need a plan, let’s say, that we are ready to build in 3-4 years and then we can get in line to host the Olympics.

“We must be ambitious,” the President added, without specifying whether the target would be a Summer or Winter Games.

Lviv launched Ukraine’s only ever Olympic bid, a campaign to host the 2022 Winter Games, but was later forced to withdraw amid political turmoil resulting from the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.

Last month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) elected Italy’s Milan-Cortina to host the 2026 Winter Olympics, defeating a single Swedish rival representing Stockholm-Åre.  The 2022 edition will be held in Beijing while the next two Summer Games will be staged in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

The IOC in June restructured the bid process, creating a future host commission that will examine potential Olympic hosts without a set timetable.  Salt Lake City, Barcelona, Sapporo and Lillehammer have been connected to 2030 Winter Games bids while several countries including Australia, India, Germany, China, Indonesia and jointly between North and South Korea have discussed Summer Games bids.

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Bubka, however, advised the government to level-set expectations and set the more realistic goal of hosting an edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).  Lausanne in Switzerland will host the 2020 Winter YOG while the 2022 Summer YOG will be staged in Dakar, Senegal.

Cities including Brașov in Romania and Sofia in Bulgaria have already expressed interest in hosting the YOG in 2024.

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil