Reuters reports that Lviv 2022, the Olympic Winter Games bid from Ukraine, will be put “on hold” at least until after scheduled May 25 presidential elections.
“We have agreed with the IOC that we will meet as soon as possible to discuss whether our bid is still able to fulfil our commitments, and to realise our dream of hosting the Olympic Winter Games; a dream which is now more important than ever,” a statement said.
The bid has been organizing for several months starting before protests erupted in Ukraine last year eventually resulting in the Russian incursion of Crimea. An application was officially submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last November.
But tensions between Russia and Ukraine have raised many questions about the bid’s feasibility, and up until now Lviv had vowed to continue and overcome the obstacles.
Lviv is up against Almaty Kazakhstan, Beijing China, Krakow Poland and Oslo Norway. The IOC is set to draw up a shortlist of applicants at its Executive Board meeting July 8.
“These Games are a national priority for Ukraine,” the bid wrote in its application file to the IOC that was submitted in March and obtained by GamesBids.com.
“Consequently, the population will benefit tremendously from the focus on youth, sport and education.”
The document explained that the bid had 68.4% popular support across Ukraine in a poll conducted early in December 2013. Lviv budgeted $22 million for a bid campaign and claimed that the project was guaranteed by the federal government, but that could change with a new government.
“The Lviv 2022 Bid Committee, together with all interested stakeholders and parties, has done everything in its power to prepare a strong application file despite the difficult circumstances,” Reuters was told.
“But our Olympic dream is currently on hold due to the current circumstances in Ukraine and at least until after the Presidential elections on May 25.
“This is why the Lviv 2022 bid team has minimised its operations and suspended promotional and media activities until the successful solution of the current challenges facing Ukraine.”
The 2022 host city will be elected by the IOC July 2015.