Ukraine unrest overshadows Lviv 2022 Games bid

Sun Feb 9, 2014 5:56am EST
 
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By Keith Weir

SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Ukraine's political turmoil undermined efforts on Sunday by former Olympic champion Sergei Bubka to promote a bid by its western city of Lviv to host the 2022 Winter Games.

Bubka, now president of Ukraine's Olympic Committee, said he was confident that his country could swiftly resolve the divisions that are tearing it apart.

"It's eight years before the 2022 Games will start, this will give a lot of time and opportunity to settle all the issues," he told reporters at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

"I'm confident that through the Games, through sport, it will make our nation stronger," added the former pole vaulter.

However, time is not on the side of Lviv, a city that lies close to the border with Poland and was one of the venues for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will draw up a shortlist of candidates for 2022 in the next few months and the unrest makes it hard to see how Lviv will make the grade.

Should the IOC want to stage a Games in central Europe, it could choose the Polish city of Krakow which is also bidding.

The other countries that want to host the Games are Norwegian capital Oslo, Beijing and Kazakhstan's Almaty.   Continued...

 
Anti-government protesters march on a street in central Kiev February 8, 2014. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich