The city of Lviv Ukraine has dropped out of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games following discussions with Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Arsenic Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine and Sergey Bubka, President of the National Olympic Committee.
Lviv reportedly pulled out because of the continuing political and security crisis in Ukraine. Lviv officials now say they would focus on bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.
The city had announced earlier in the year that it would temporarily suspend campaigning until the after the May federal elections.
Bach said in a statement, “we concluded that it would be extremely difficult to pursue the 2022 bid under current circumstances but that a future bid would make sense for Ukraine and Ukrainian sport”.
Three cities remain – Almaty, Beijing, and Oslo. But the Norwegian bid continues to be at risk and will face a parliamentary vote before the end of the year that one of the coalition parties said they will not support. An Oslo bid committee spokesperson said Monday that the negative public opinion has improved since the Sochi Olympics, according to a recent poll.
Earlier, Krakow Poland cancelled bid plans after losing a referendum.
Lviv bid CEO Sergei Goncharov told the Associated Press, “we have always said that we will continue if we can be certain to deliver on all our premises. Due to the current circumstances in Ukraine, we, however, felt that a bid for 2026 would make more sense. We remain convinced of the positive impact that hosting Olympic Games would have for the city of Lviv and the whole country”.
NOC President Sergey Bubka added, “we would like to thank the IOC very much for its help and understanding, as well as the great assistance that it has given to Ukrainian athletes from all parts of the country, both morally and financially”.
At an IOC Executive Board meeting in Lausanne next Monday, members will determine a short list of candidates that will continue to the international phase of the campaign. The three remaining applicants are almost certain to move forward in this race of diminishing applicants.
GamesBids.com will be reporting from Lausanne and will bring you the news as it develops.