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Lviv winter Olympics bid “very uncertain” – CEO

Sergej Gontcharov, the chief executive of Lviv’s bid to host the 2022 winter Olympic Games, has admitted that the current political upheaval in Ukraine means the city’s campaign to land the event is “very uncertain.”

The Ukrainian city and Almaty, Beijing, Kazakhstan, Krakow and Oslo submitted their applicant files to the International Olympic Committee by Friday’s deadline. However, with the country in turmoil and the Crimean peninsula having fallen under Russian control, Lviv’s bid for the Games has taken a back seat.

“Obviously so much is connected to what is going on in the country," Gontcharov told the Associated Press news agency. “As of now, there are more urgent and more important things that have to be clarified. We did our job by submitting the files to the best of our ability and now we have to wait and see.”

He added: “Hopefully the situation calms down quickly and is resolved peacefully. Then we will enter into more detailed and more concrete talks with the new government… I'm not here telling fairytales. Of course, it's very uncertain. The concept itself is based on great demand and potential. Whether we will be able to realize it now is unclear at the moment, too uncertain.”

Gontcharov continued: “We worked very hard to complete the applicant file. It's all been a very big challenge. So many times we had to cancel some events that were planned in promotion of the bid, such as the logo launch and different social events. Every time when we thought the situation has calmed down, there was a new escalation.” The IOC executive board will decide which cities go through to the candidate city stage at a meeting on July 7-9 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The winning bid will be announced on July 31, 2015.