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'Our great state deserves an Olympics,' says Ukraine's president

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By AP
Iryna Dekha of Ukraine competes in the women's 76kg weightlifting event, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Iryna Dekha of Ukraine competes in the women's 76kg weightlifting event, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.   -   Copyright  Luca Bruno/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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Ukraine is wanting to enter formal talks about hosting a Winter Olympics, according to the International Olympic Committee.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would soon send officials to a meeting at the IOC’s headquarters in Switzerland.

He made the pledge during IOC president Thomas Bach's weekend visit to Kyiv.

"The big dream is the Olympic Games in Ukraine," said Zelenskyy. "And I really believe in it. I am sure that our great state deserves to host the Olympic Games.

"But in moments like this, I always remember the words of weightlifters and my father, the master of sports in weightlifting. They say: it is always not easy to go and try to lift something. It is easy not to try and walk away. This is what the weightlifters said. Therefore, we will definitely try on the Olympic Games."

The next available winter games to bid for are in 2030, although a new flexible Olympic bidding process means countries do not need to specify immediately exactly where or when they hope to stage the tournament.

The IOC has previously detailed talks with Salt Lake City, Utah, and Sapporo, Japan — both previous hosts — plus a Barcelona-Pyrenees project about hosting Winter Games from 2030 through 2038.

The IOC has started holding "non-committal continuous dialogue" with potential candidates in order to help cut costs and create a more efficient process.

Brisbane was the first winner in the new style of bidding when it was awarded the 2032 Summer Games in July. The Australian coastal city did not face a formal opponent in a vote by IOC members, or a referendum of local voters and the quick award left other cities blindsided.

Ukraine was briefly involved in bidding for the 2022 Winter Games but it withdrew in 2014 citing political and security turmoil amid conflict with neighbouring Russia.