Romanian officials have signed a letter of intent to put forward Brașov as a candidate city to host the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, marking the nation’s second straight bid to host the quadrennial event for those aged 14 to 18.
The announcement was made Sunday (March 24) after productive discussions among Romanian Olympic and Sport Committee (COSR) President Mihai Covaliu, Secretary General George Boroi and government officials.
Deputy Prime Minister Vasile-Daniel Suciu, Tourism Minister Bogdan Trif, Minister of Youth and Sports Bogdan Matei and Minister of Finance Eugen Teodorovici indicated that they would support the project and will recommend that Prime Minister Viorica Dancila sign the cover letter to move the bid forward.
The letter – already signed by Brasov Mayor George Scripcaru, County Council President Adrian Vestea, Rasnov Mayor Liviu Butnariu and Predeal Mayor Lucian Adam – has been addressed to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.
Covaliu, according to a COSR statement said “Romania’s enrollment in the race for the organization of an Olympic competition is a national pride.”
He added “[the bid is] a unique chance for the future generations of athletes who want to participate in such a great competition and, at the same time, for the tourist area of Brasov, an opportunity to become an attractive international winter sports center.”
The bid process for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics has yet to open, but IOC officials have indicated that it will be launched this year, with the election of the host city occurring at the IOC Session in 2020. Earlier this year the IOC hinted that four countries have already expressed interest in joining the race, but no details have been released.
Sofia in Bulgaria is the only other city to express strong indications that it will also bid for the Games.
Last September, after a meeting between Bulgaria’s Prime Minister and IOC’s Bach, a statement was released by the Bulgarian sports ministry that said “Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has asked the Minister of Youth and Sport Krasen Kralev to prepare Sofia’s bid to host the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2024.”
Brașov was on the final ballot in 2015 when its bid to host the 2020 edition of the Games was soundly defeated by the only other rival, Lausanne in Switzerland, by a decisive 71-10 vote.
An evaluation report released for the 2020 project indicated that there were financial questions, and missing information about hotel availability and guarantees. There was also concern that three competition venues representing 30 percent of the athletes were too remote – up to 70 minutes away from the Olympic Village.
The same report, however, lauded Brasov’s proposed use of temporary venues and the existing transportation infrastructure, and the offering of free services during the Games.
Brașov, the home of several universities, is home to about 250,000 and successfully hosted the 2013 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.