Talking point: Lviv’s 2022 Olympic Bid

Issue 35, May 2011.

Speaking recently at the meeting of the Regional Committee on Economic Reforms in Lviv, President Viktor Yanukovych once again underlined his support for the West Ukrainian capital’s ambitious bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. President Yanukovych stressed that the future success of any Western Ukrainian Olympic bid would be directly linked to the performance of Lviv as a host city dur¬ing the Euro 2012 championships next summer. “If we pass this exam and host a successful Euro 2012 then the road to the Lviv Winter Olympics in 2022 will be open,” commented the Ukrainian President. Lviv will face stiff competition in the shape of expected rival bids from Poland, USA, China and Romania among others, but the city’s Euro 2012 improvements will give it a head start on many alterna¬tive bids and create both an infrastructural foundation upon which to build and the psychological momentum which all winning bids require.

Lyubomyr Zubrytskyy
EBA Western Ukrainian Branch Board Member,
Director, Customer Service Center Eastern Europe, Austrian Airlines
“Major projects like Euro 2012 raise interna¬tional awareness and boost the competitive¬ness of the region. Euro 2012 helps companies in the tourism sector and contributes to the infrastructure development process. The expe¬rience and infrastructure gained through Euro 2012 are unique for the city of Lviv and the en¬tire region. A 2022 Lviv Olympics is as realistic as Euro 2012. It would lead to the implementa¬tion of large infrastructure projects on all levels and the establishment of public-private partnerships. We could expect more attention for Lviv and the region, better investment opportunities, more working places and welfare.”

Markiyan Malskyy
EBA Western Ukrainian Branch Deputy Chairman, Head of West Ukrainian Branch of Arzinger
While it is good to entertain Olympic dreams, we must not forget about Olympic pragma¬tism. At this stage, if we were to judge Lviv by its track record of preparations for Euro 2012 it would be hard to argue the case for any gold medals. However, I believe there is more than enough time to prepare for a Lviv Olympics successfully. First and foremost, Lviv needs to learn from its mistakes and recognize the cru¬cial importance of private capital in the financ¬ing of such major undertakings. Unfortunately the major infrastructure elements currently being constructed for Euro 2012 are all state-funded. Due to the fact that the private-public partnership system still doesn’t work properly in Ukraine, a lot of money will be spent which could have been used differently. Ukraine has failed to attract private investments to Euro 2012 but there is hope that the authorities now understand potential advantages of private investment in infrastructure proj¬ects. Investors want adequate security for their investments and the government is interested to create a comfortable and attractive investment climate that will attract the kind of capital which will ensure profitability in future and not only during the Olympiad itself. At present, Ukraine unfortunately is simply not doing enough to make investors feel welcome.

Udo Heine
EBA Western Ukrainian Branch Board Chairman, CEO Hotel Leopolis, Opera Passage, Opera Market
I think that a Lviv Winter Olympics would be very good not only for Lviv but also for the Carpathian region as a whole. The Carpathians are not cur¬rently being promoted and are in crusial need of major infrastructure improvements. It is certainly a good sign for the future Olympic bid that the city’s Euro 2012 infrastructure will adequately cover the requirements of a future Lviv Winter Olympics. Ultimately, it would be a wonderful op¬portunity to promote Western Ukraine and its beautiful capital city, Lviv.

Taras Yurynts
EBA Western Ukrainian Branch Deputy Chairman,
Director, Guldmann-Ukraine
More than 10 years are left before the Winter Olympic Games in 2022. Time frame almost anything is possible – even the upgrading of the Lviv region infrastructure to five-star status. The idea of hosting an Olympiad is appealing to Lviv audiences. Infrastructure improvements would raise the city’s tourist potential. Euro 2012 will be a starting point that will give us an indication of whether the Ukrainian authorities are really interested in holding such major global events and are ready to invest sufficient capital into a Winter Olympic bid or whether there are only declarations of intentions to do so. However, even when the many positives of a Lviv Olympics are taken into consideration, the question still remains whether it is appropriate or rational to invest enormous sums of money in the infrastructure development for the Olympiad while there is a number of unsolved social and economic problems in Ukraine caused by insufficient financing. I hope these economic problems will be considered as well as the action plan for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Andreas Jueterbock
EBA Western Ukrainian Branch Board Member
District Manager, METRO Cash and Carry Ukraine
“Lviv region’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics is a well-grounded and far-sighted aspiration. Of course, there is a long road ahead in enhancing infrastructure, enrolling supporters and promoting the project on the national and international levels, but all in all I feel that Ukraine could be a serious candidate for the 2022 Winter Games. The region has all the potential needed to be a winning bid. What has to be done now to ensure that this potential is being utilized and developed to the full.”