Poland could target 2036 Olympic bid following successful European Games

Polish sports minister Kamil Bortniczuk said last week that his nation is ready to host the Olympic Games in 2036, and that a bid should be launched with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Polish Sport Minister Kamil Bortniczuk in August 2022 (Twitter/Kamil Bortniczuk)
Polish Sport Minister Kamil Bortniczuk in August 2022 (Twitter/Kamil Bortniczuk)

Bortniczuk’s remarks were made during an interview with the Polish Press Agency while discussing the European Games that were staged in Kraków and Małopolska from June 21 to July 2.

He said “By successfully holding the 2023 European Games, we have made a giant step towards assuring the sports community that Poland is capable of being a brilliant host of various multi-sport events.”

“We should apply to organize the first Olympic Games that are available, which means the 2036 Olympics … Poland has a sufficient level of economic development, sufficient budgetary resources and sufficient experience, in part thanks to the 2023 European Games.

The 2023 European Games hosted 6,857 athletes during 12 days of competition across 29 sports and staged many qualification events for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Los Angeles is scheduled to host the 2028 Olympics with Brisbane set to stage in 2032.

Poland has never bid to host the Summer Games but failed vying for two Winter Games. Zakopane missed the shortlist for the 2006 edition while Krakow withdrew from the 2022 race when plans were overturned by a referendum. Bortniczuk ruled out a future Winter Games bid due to a lack of snow facilities, but feels Capital Warsaw could be a hub for the Summer Games.

“Quite simply, we can do it.”

The sports minister explained that European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Spyros Capralos also supports the idea.

“It’s a political decision,” he said, adding “I will be urging for such a decision to be made.”

If plans move forward, Poland will join a growing list of interested regions that the IOC claims has entered the “double-digits.” Under IOC bidding rules introduced in 2019, regions can apply to host the Games and join an ongoing dialogue in secrecy, the intention being that bids not included on a targeted dialogue shortlist will not be perceived as ‘losers’.

Nations expressing interest in hosting in 2036 are known to include South Korea, India, Indonesia, Germany, Qatar, Hungary, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt and U.K. In May, China was invited by IOC President Thomas Bach to join the race.

There is no set timetable for awarding the 2036 Games, but Bach has said the decision will belong to his successor after the President’s term ends in 2025. Prospective bidders participate in ongoing discussions until the IOC chooses a smaller number of candidates for targeted dialogue aimed at a final election.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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