Olympic plans evaporate

PREVIOUSLY lauded as an event that could put Slovakia on the map, the Olympic Games in Poland are now highly unlikely as voters in Krakow rejected plans to bid for the 2022 Winter Games, which would have seen Slovakia co-host skiing events.

PREVIOUSLY lauded as an event that could put Slovakia on the map, the Olympic Games in Poland are now highly unlikely as voters in Krakow rejected plans to bid for the 2022 Winter Games, which would have seen Slovakia co-host skiing events.

In a May 25 public referendum, 69.72 percent of Krakowians voted against hosting the games.

The Krakow referendum is valid as the turnout reached 35.96 percent, surpassing the 30-percent quorum, the TASR newswire reported. Representatives of Krakow and the Slovak Olympic Committee are scheduled to meet on May 30, a day after The Slovak Spectator went to print, to make the final decision over the bid.

Slovak Olympic Committee (SOV) President František Chmelár told the press that in theory the Polish parliament will decide on the issue, but he cast doubts over the possibility of MPs ignoring the opinion of Krakow residents.

“The present voice of Krakow citizens against Olympic candidacy resonated so strongly that it can’t be questioned,” Chmelár said in SOV’s press release. “A similar chance will not come around again for a long time.”

This comes as bad news for Slovakia and the High Tatras region since it has potential to host such games and attract the world’s attention, according to Lenka Maťašovská, the head of regional destination management organisation, OOCR Región Vysoké Tatry, the Sme daily reported.

While head of the National Park Nízke Tatry Administration Ľuboš Čillag declined to comment, environmentalist Mikuláš Huba of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) praised the possible end of Krakow’s candidacy because the most controversial part of the games would be held in the Slovak national park, according to Sme.

It will take time to analyse the reasons behind people’s decision, but the Preparatory Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Krakow most likely suffers from mistakes in communication with the public, Chmelár said, as quoted by TASR.

Chmelár pointed out that some cities bidding to host the games started cancelling their applications after the latest Winter Olympic Games took place on February 7-23, 2014 in Sochi.

Despite the fact that they were successful and well organised, huge expenses scared off potential future bidders, Chmelár said, adding that it could endanger the whole existence of the Olympic Games.

“It is impossible to break through the opinion of the population,” Chmelár said, as quoted by TASR, adding that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is preparing measures to make sure the Olympic Games continue.

Missing referendum in Slovakia

The Slovak government approved the idea of the joint candidacy without a referendum and without a study to assess the potential environmental impacts, according to Via Iuris, a legal ethics and civil rights watchdog. Therefore, together with the Institute for Environmental Protection, it filed a complaint with the General Prosecutor’s Office and the European Commission, which should look into whether Slovakia’s approach was in compliance with EU directives, the SITA newswire reported.
However, investments will come to the Tatras region with or without the Olympic Games, according to Juraj Blanár, the head of Slovak Preparation Committee and Žilina Mayor of Smer, Sme reported.
Liptovský Mikuláš Mayor Alexander Slafkovský of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) agrees, adding that it is possible that most of the planned investments will come to fruition.
“Criticisms by environmentalists were exaggerated, everything they criticised related to the Olympic Games will be there in the next five or six years anyway,” Slafkovský told Sme.

How much it would cost

Should the plan to jointly host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games with Poland become a reality, it would cost Slovakia €177 million, according to a document cleared by the government on February 26, according to the SITA newswire.
The plan, authored by the Slovak Education Ministry, calls for the games to be hosted in Krakow, Poland, with Jasná in Slovakia’s Low Tatras handling the alpine ski disciplines. The bill would be covered by the state, with €169 million making up investment costs and the remaining €8 million going toward operating the competitions. The highest amount would go into transport infrastructure.
The Education Ministry claims that part of the costs would be covered through commercial revenues, TASR reported.

Top stories

Thousands join Plea for Humanity

Do not let people die on our doorstep, Slovaks call on their government. 

Illustrative stock photo

Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe

THE NUMBER of millionaires in Slovakia has increased year-on-year by more than 9 percent to 4,200 – which is twice as fast as growth among the rest of Europe.  

Štefan Harabin

Harabin sits on a new panel

FORMER Supreme Court president Štefan Harabin has ultimately lose his panel and become a member of a new one which will be led by one of his biggest critics.

Slovak Matej Tóth celebrates victory at the World Championships in Beijing

Slovak Matej Tóth won first gold in athletic discipline at World Championships

SLOVAK race walker Matej Tóth (of VŠC Dukla Banská Bystrica sports club) won a gold medal in the 50 kilometre walk at the World Championships in Beijing, while also winning the overall title in the prestigious IAAF…

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  2. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  3. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  4. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  7. Harabin sits on a new panel
  8. Compassion is no complicated concept
  9. SNP anniversary in Banská Bystrica featured black flags
  10. Grape crop appears to be good, but quality of wine remains questionable
  1. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  2. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  3. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations
  4. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  7. Korean companies are still coming
  8. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  9. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  10. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  1. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  2. Crooks may land €2 million in land deals for Jaguar Land Rover
  3. Interior Minister surprised by news of refugee camp close to Austrian border
  4. Refugees die in a truck near Slovak border in Austria
  5. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  6. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  7. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  8. Bratislava Flagship Restaurant
  9. A Slovak placed online ad offers money for shooting migrants
  10. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations