Billions for Olympic bid
Billions for Olympic bidAT least $1.25 billion will be needed if Sofia is to have a chance of hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Vasil Tonchev, a member of Sofia’s 2014 Olympics Bid committee, told a Bulgarian news agency on January 24. The Games themselves cost about $800 million and Sofia needed an additional $400 million to $450 million for infrastructure projects, Tonchev said. Among planned projects are the construction of ski jump and bobsleigh facilities and two Olympic villages as well as repairs to skating rinks in Sofia’s Vassil Levski national stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies would be held, and the National Palace of Culture. Bulgaria applied to the International Olympic Committee last year to host the Games from February 10 to 26, 2014, in the capital Sofia and the skiing centres of Borovets in the Rila mountains and Bansko in the Pirin mountains. The other candidate cities include Kazakhstan’s Almaty; Georgia’s Borjomi; Spain’s Jaca; South Korea’s Pyongyang; Austria’s Salzburg and Russia’s Sochi. The International Olympic Committee will announce the candidates for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the summer of 2006 and select the host in June 2007. The idea of Sofia hosting the Winter Olympics has a history of almost 30 years. The country hopes to bring attention to its candidature through excellent performances at this year’s Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The Bulgarian Olympic delegation for the Games has 53 members, of whom 21 are sports people and 32 are officials, trainers, medical and technical staff. Stefka Kostadinova, president of the Bulgarian Olympic Committee, told Bulgarian-language radio on January 23 that she expected Bulgaria to win medals in the biathlon, figure skating, short track and snowboard categories. The largest number of athletes, six, are in the biathlon category. Among them is the Nagano 1998 Olympic champion, Ekaterina Dafovska. European short-track champion Evgenia Radanova is also one of Bulgaria’s gold medal hopes.
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