Civil unrest has rocked Ukraine in the past weeks. (Getty)
(ATR) Potentially troubling developments for two of the 2022 winter Olympic bids, Lviv and Oslo.
Lviv, a long shot in the race, is the scene of spreading protests across Ukraine. Opponents to the government seized the governor’s office in Lviv Friday demanding his resignation. The governor handwrote a resignation letter which he disavowed later in the day as issued under duress.
The city of 700,000 is located in western Ukraine near the border with Poland.
The unrest is all tied to the decision of the national government to reject a trade pact with Europe in favor of closer ties with Russia.
While the protests are unrelated to the Olympic bid, an unstable government with protests spreading through the country is probably not the best for a bid in its infancy. The IOC will review the five 2022 bids in the coming months to choose a short list of candidates for the final phase of the race.
No comment from Ukraine Olympic leaders who have insisted previously that protests will not cause problems for the bid. But that was before this week’s uptick in violence around the protests in Kyiv and the spread of the discontent to the
state government in Lviv and five other cities in Ukraine’s West.
Ominous Poll Results for Oslo
An overview of Holmekollen skiing venue in Oslo. If Oslo's bid is selected, Holmenkollen is expected to be one of the main venues in the games. (VEGARD GROTT/AFP/Getty Images)
The country’s population has expressed discontent with their capital city’s bid.
A poll conducted by Minerva magazine shows that 58 percent of the Norwegian population disapproves of a financial guarantee from the government to fund the Olympic. Just 26 percent of those polled support a financial guarantee for the Games.
Børre Rognlien, president of Norway’s national athletics federation, told Aftenposten that the poll results do not accurately reflect the support for Oslo 2022.
Oslo’s projected bid is roughly $6 billion in US currency, and many expect the cost of the games to increase over the course of bidding and planning.
Norway’s council must approve or deny an Olympic bid by the end of January. The remaining 2022 Olympic Bid cities are Almaty, Beijing, Krakow, and Lviv.
Written by Ed Hula.
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