AROUND SLOVAKIA

No Olympics in Poprad

POPRAD has adopted a new urban plan, as part of the Prešov Self-Governing Region master plan, which appears to preclude the city at the foot of the High Tatras from any future plans of someday hosting the Winter Olympics.

POPRAD has adopted a new urban plan, as part of the Prešov Self-Governing Region master plan, which appears to preclude the city at the foot of the High Tatras from any future plans of someday hosting the Winter Olympics.

In January 2014, the Development Committee of the Town Council in Poprad proposed to scrap plans designating an area slated for possible use for the Winter Olympics and to convert it into a multi-use space.

“The town decided not to block one of its potential development areas in the future – for an uncertain prospect of organising the Winter Olympics,” the town statement sent to the SITA newswire reads. Designating the area as multi-use paves the way for housing construction, green spaces and public infrastructure.

“This is a pity, as the town which could have become the centre of the Olympic Games took this stance,” CEO of the District Tourism Organisation Región Vyoské Tatry (High Tatras Region) Lenka Maťašovská, told SITA.

The area of land originally intended for the Winter Olympics lies to the west of Poprad’s Juh (South) housing estate. After the Prešov Self-Governing Region master plan is approved, Poprad will be able to introduce a tender for renewing the urban plan for this area. The land had been set aside for the Olympics since the current urban plan was approved in 1998. Construction of a housing estate called Nový Poprad is slated to begin nearby.

The idea to organise the Winter Olympics in Slovakia emerged after 1989, although efforts to organise them in the High Tatras go back even earlier. Poprad vied to host the Winter Olympics for the years 2002 and 2006, in both cases unsuccessfully. In connection with the Polish candidacy for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Poprad was mentioned last year as a potential location for an ice hockey tournament, for which a new stadium or an Olympic village would have been built. But as the Olympic rules do not allow such an option, it was also turned down.

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