Ukraine in talks with IOC over staging Winter Games
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zalenskyy says the country will enter the dialogue phase with the International Olympic Committee about the possibility of staging a future edition of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The announcement comes following a meeting held in Kyiv in Ukraine with IOC president Thomas Bach, in which Zalenskyy said he was “determined” to host the games and that he would soon send officials for a meeting at the IOC headquarters in Switzerland.
Sergey Bubka, president of the country's National Olympic Committee, said: "The President is really focusing on developing Ukraine. He is paying a lot of attention to building infrastructure for sport and lifestyle.
"We understand what we need to build for Ukraine to host an Olympics, and President Zelenskyy is looking at a Winter Games.
"Our country is strong in summer sport, but not as strong in winter sport, as we do not have the facilities. Ukraine is a wonderful country with some beautiful mountains and we want to bring more tourists here."
Earlier this year, Vadym Huttsait, youth and sports minister in Ukraine, said the country was considering submitting a bid for either the 2030 Winter games or the 2032 Summer games.
Salt Lake City in Utah, US, Barcelona in Spain and Sapporo in Japan have expressed interest to host the 2030 Winter games.
It is understood that Canadian cities Vancouver and Quebec City, as well as Bashkortostan in Russia are also considering bids for 2030. Russia will not be selected as a host until its World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions expire.
Volodymyr Zalenskyy's announcement reflects the new host selection process, via which the IOC Future Host Commission enters into dialogue with interest cities.
Brisbane in Australia was selected to host the 2032 Summer Olympics via this method.
Previously countries would compete against each other, a system Bach said created “too many losers.”
Bubka praised this new process and said: "This is a great change by Thomas Bach, as the process is open to more countries, and it offers more possibility, more flexibility. There is then more chance for countries to host an Olympic Games with less expense."
The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing in China, with the 2026 edition to be held in Milan-Cortina in Italy.