Putin: Russia Would Cover Costs if Awarded Figure Skating Champs.

March 23, 2011

With this year’s World Figure Skating Championships, due to be scheduled in Japan, having been cancelled due to the horrific earthquake and tsunami in the nation, Russia has formally declared itself a bidder to host this event.

They have written to the International Skating Union (ISU) putting forward Moscow as a replacement for Tokyo, with Valentin Piseyev, executive director of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, saying: “Today we sent a formal letter to the International Skating Union, telling them of our desire to stage the competition in Moscow.”

Russia is one of several countries who have offered to step in as replacements, including Vancouver, which hosted last year’s Winter Olympics, Colorado Springs and Lake Placid in the United States, Turku in Finland and unnamed cities in Austria and France.

However, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has revealed his country would be willing to cover all the costs of staging the event in Moscow, stating: “I think we could give a helping hand to our Japanese colleagues as well as the ISU.

“We are not demanding anything, it’s more of a goodwill gesture by us. 

“It wouldn’t cost much, so we could cover all the expenses ourselves.”

Moscow has proposed the 14,000-seat Hodynka arena, built in 2007 to host that year’s ice hockey World Championship, as the venue after the ISU said it was seeking applications to stage the championships last week.

The ISU set today as the deadline for submitting applications and plans to announce the decision in a few days, releasing a statement on their official website reading: “Based on spontaneous proposals from ISU Member federations received to host the Championships and possibly additional members who might be interested and available, the ISU Council is evaluating the different options taking into account all relevant aspects and points of view.

“This primarily involves the tremendous logistical challenge to organize and conduct such major event on short notice. 

“Also, the [ISU] Council cannot ignore legal and contractual constraints as well as timing conflicts with other skating or sporting events.

“The ISU Council is conscious that a solution satisfying all points of view is probably difficult to be achieved and begs all involved for their understanding and cooperation in these truly exceptional circumstances.”