Slovakia backs joint 2022 Winter Games bid with Poland

BRATISLAVA Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:57pm IST

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia supports the idea of a joint bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics with neighbour Poland, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Thursday.

The two European countries share a border straddled by the High Tatras mountains, a favourite winter holiday destination for locals and tourists from Russia and Ukraine.

Fico met representatives of the Slovak Olympic Committee, the High Tatras regions and the national ice hockey and ski associations in the northern town of Poprad, which unsuccessfully bid for the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games, to debate the plan.

"The fundamental question is whether we can afford it or not, whether we have the needed infrastructure for disciplines expected to take place here," Slovak news agency TASR cited Fico as saying.

Poland's Sports Ministry has said it would back a proposal to co-host the Winter Olympics and the government would soon discuss providing the necessary guarantees for the bid.

The Slovak government is expected to announce its formal support for the bid by the end of February.

Poland successfully co-hosted last year's Euro soccer championship with Ukraine.

Fico said he envisaged Slovakia hosting ice hockey and skiing events. The cost of hosting the Games, estimated at between $1.5 and $2 billion, would be shared between the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which was expected to provide some 40 percent of the funds, and the two countries with Poland providing the larger share.

The IOC has set November 2013 as the application deadline and the host city will be elected in July 2015.

Fico, who plays soccer and goes running, said Slovakia should not be over-ambitious about the plans.

"We mustn't have big eyes," he said. "It would be a great success should we succeed with Poland, the candidacy alone will mean further PR for Slovakia and it will be a great opportunity for development of the infrastructure."

(Reporting by Martin Santa and Chris Borowski; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Cricket

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian Grand Prix

Rosberg on pole, Hamilton on fire.  Full Article 

Feels Like Home

Feels Like Home

Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal.  Full Article 

Colombo Test

Colombo Test

Perera gives Sri Lanka big lead despite Amla ton.  Full Article 

Motor Racing

Motor Racing

Force India happy to retain drivers, says Mallya  Full Article 

Benfica Gets Bebe

Benfica Gets Bebe

United sell misfit Bebe to Benfica.  Full Article 

Atlanta Open

Atlanta Open

Isner downs Aussie battler to reach Atlanta semi-finals   Full Article 

Canadian Open

Canadian Open

DeLaet well placed to end Canadian title drought  Full Article 

Russian GP

Russian GP

F1 teams rule out Russian race boycott  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage