The Czech Republic and Poland are planning a joint bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, according to Polish officials.
Polish daily sports newspaper Przegląd Sportowy reports the plan would see 10 locations involved, six in Czech Republic and four in Poland.
Poland would stage the Opening Ceremony in Wrocław and curling, figure skating and speed skating in Jelenia Góra.
The country would also host bobsleigh, luge, ski cross and snowboard in Karpacz and biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined in Szklarska Poręba, where some downhill skiing competitions may be held.
Prague, put forward as the venue for the Closing Ceremony, is one of the half-dozen locations cited in Czech Republic along with Harrachov, Špindlerův Mlýn, Malá Úpa, Pec pod Sněžkou and Liberec.
“It’s time to speak loudly about our plans,” Tomasz Stanek, chairman of the Committee on Sport, Tourism and Foreign Affairs in the Carpathian region of Poland, was reported as saying by Przegląd Sportowy.
“We have long debated how to effectively build up our centers to the world’s elite…we want in 13 years the greatest athletes in the world to appear.”
Mayor of Szklarska Poręba, Miroslaw Graf, added on Facebook: “Karpacz and Szklarska together.
“Flies in 2030.”
Neither Czech Republic or Poland have hosted the Winter Olympics before.
Kraków had been considering a bid for the 2022 edition, eventually awarded to Beijing, but a local referendum voted not to back it.
The city’s Mayor Jacek Majchrowski subsequently warned Kraków had lost out the opportunity of at least billion dollars worth of investment in infrastructure improvements.
He claimed that the Polish Government were fully behind the campaign and were ready to invest heavily in the region, including overhauling the local transport system, if they had been awarded the Games.
Majchrowski also said voters were “misled” by a negative media campaign about the potential costs of hosting the Olympics compared to the benefits to the city.
In the immediate aftermath of the referendum – in which 69.72 per cent voted against the Olympics and Paralympics – Majchrowski had blamed the initial Bid Committee, led by former Polish Olympic snowboarder-turned-politician Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak, for turning people against the campaign following corruption allegations.
It had been estimated that hosting the Olympics and Paralympics would have cost Kraków in excess of $5 billion.
The candidacy of Polish city Zakopane for the 2006 Games, which ended up going to Turin, was dropped by the International Olympic Committee’s Selection College.
By Daniel Etchells
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.