FOLLOWING a referendum of its citizens, the Polish city of Krakow announced on May 26 that it has withdrawn its bid to organise the Winter Olympic Games in 2022, part of which was to have taken place in Slovakia.

According to Polish news website, the city authority withdrew the bid after 69.7 percent of the city's population in a referendum said that they do not want the games to be organised in Krakow. The turnout in the referendum, which took place alongside the European Parliament elections, reached 35.96 percent, and so the vote is valid and binding, as a turnout of at least 30 percent was necessary, the TASR newswire reported.

Slovak Education Ministry spokesman Michal Kaliňák reacted to the withdrawal by saying that Slovakia has taken the decision on board.

"Slovakia and the town of Poprad weren't applicants but only Krakow's partners in the process," said Kaliňák, as quoted by TASR.

Slovakia was supposed to organise alpine skiing and the ice-hockey tournament as part of the Games.

Following the withdrawal of Krakow, only four cities remain in the running for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games: Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Lviv (Ukraine) and Oslo (Norway). The executive committee of the International Olympic Committee will select the final contenders on July 8-9 in Lausanne, with the games’ organiser due to be chosen on July 31, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.