Prague City Hall To Fund 2020 Summer Olympic Bid

Prague City Hall has announced that Kc 25 million will be paid from municipal funds next year to develop a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, following its failed bid for the 2016 Summer Games. The city was not on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) shortlist for the 2016 Games.

Miroslav Sklenar, the City Hall’s deputy director said, “I can confirm that we are considering making another bid. No town managed to succeed on the very first bid”, reports the Czech Business Weekly.

However Sklenar said the future development of Prague’s 2020 bid will depend on the IOC’s decision about the Summer Games future format. He said should the Summer Olympics develop in the Beijing-like megalomaniac way, Prague would most likely halt its efforts.

There is reportedly mixed political support for a Prague 2020 bid. Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, one of the bid’s enthusiastic political supporters, recently failed in his run to chair the senior governing Civic Democrats (ODS) and it could lower the bid’s chances, reports the newspaper.

Milan Jirasek, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee said, “it’s true that Pavel Bem’s political loss could bring about some difficulties”.

Other politicians, including ODS leader and Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, and President Vaclav Klaus, are not backing the project. The ruling ODS party has failed to express unanimous support for the bid.

Klaus expressed his doubts last year about the bid saying, “I’m not sure whether the Games would bring profit to this country”.

Czech Olympic Committee member Jiri Kejval said finding political consensus appears to be a key requirement in the mid term. “The IOC made it clear that without the Prime Minister’s support, developing the bid is irrelevant. In order to stand a chance the government and the national Olympic committee must work in line together, and also the opposition must tolerate the efforts”.