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Ukraine eyes potential Olympic bid

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has outlined ambitious plans for the country to bid for a future edition of the Olympic Games.

Zelensky made the suggestion yesterday (Tuesday) during talks with Minister of Youth and Sports Ihor Zhdanov and National Olympic Committee of Ukraine president Serhiy Bubka.

Zelensky is a former comedian and was elected as president of Ukraine in April.

In comments published on the presidential website, Zelenskiy said: “We need a certain plan so that we, say, are able to build everything in three or four years, and then we can get in line and host the Olympics. We should be ambitious.”

He added: “We should give a task to our guys who are looking for investments, give a task to our budget, to allocate money annually to the objectives we need, and then this will be used for the Olympics. At least, we must try to achieve this.”

Zelensky did not specify whether Ukraine would prioritise the summer or winter Olympics. The next available summer Games that Ukraine could bid for is the 2032 edition, while the next available winter Games would be in 2030 after Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo was last month awarded rights to the 2026 edition.

Bubka, a former pole-vaulter who won gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, suggested that it would be more realistic for Ukraine to consider hosting a Youth Olympic Games first.

Lviv had been put forward as a potential host of the 2022 winter Olympics but the Ukrainian city dropped out in June 2014 amid political and economic instability in the country. The Games were eventually awarded to Beijing.

Ukraine has experience of staging major sporting events in the recent past, having co-hosted football’s Uefa European Championships with Poland in 2012.