According to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s hopes of bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games rely on the successful delivery of UEFA Euro 2012.
A statement released on the Ukrainian Government’s website revealed that Yanukovych has said that preparations to co-host Euro 2012 alongside neighbouring Poland were back on track after numerous difficulties.
However, he added that the dream of bidding for the 2022 Olympics, labelled ‘Olympic Hope 2022’, would have no chance of being realised unless visitors are impressed by their experience at the soccer tournament in just over a year’s time.
Yanukovych said at a meeting of the Regional Committee on Economic Reforms: “If we pass this exam, keep our word, build the infrastructure, host Euro 2012, show the world that Ukraine meets the standard of ‘five stars of quality’ and hospitality, ‘Olympic Hope 2022’ will become a reality.”
Referring to preparations for the European Championships next year, he added: “Clearly the picture of early 2011 was sad and shameful, arousing the feeling that we would disrupt this European holiday. This would be very bad for Ukraine’s image.”
He continued to claim that the situation has improved greatly since the early months of this year, saying: “I would like to thank the builders and managers involved in the construction, leadership of the city and the region, UEFA and (UEFA president) Mr (Michel) Platini.”