IOC President Bach discusses Ukrainian interest in hosting Olympic Games with President Zelensky

13 Sep 2021
IOC News IOC President

IOC President Thomas Bach was in the Ukrainian capital Kiev at the weekend to celebrate 30 years of the country's National Olympic Committee (NOC) and to meet the nation's President, Volodymyr Zelensky.

IOC President Thomas Bach and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky © IOC/Greg Martin

During a meeting at the Ukrainian President's residence, President Zelensky congratulated President Bach on the delivery of extremely safe and successful Olympic Games in Tokyo. They both noted the outstanding performance of Ukraine’s athletes, and President Zelensky thanked President Bach for the continuing long-term support for Ukrainian sport.

President Zelensky informed the IOC President that Ukraine is determined to become a host for the Olympic Winter Games, and that his country would therefore enter into the Dialogue Phase with the IOC and send a delegation to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne as soon as possible.

IOC President Thomas Bach and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky IOC President Thomas Bach and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - © IOC/Greg Martin

President Bach warmly welcomed the initiative, "given the great sports tradition of Ukraine, and after having seen a very impressive presentation of the most recent sports and sports infrastructure in the country".

The two leaders had earlier visited the newly opened Urban Sports Park in Kiev, part of plans to improve sporting facilities in the country. President Bach was also joined by the NOC President and Olympic champion, Sergey Bubka, who accompanied him throughout his visit, along with IOC member and Olympic champion Valeriy Borzov. He was also joined by Minister of Youth and Sports Vadim Gutsait, who was also an Olympic fencer and an Olympic champion.

IOC President in Ukraine Urban Sports Park in Kiev - © IOC/Greg Martin

On Saturday evening, a gala celebration was held in the presence of 200 Ukrainian Olympians, among them 116 Olympic medallists.

The following day, President Bach visited the Ukrainian Olympic sports centre, which is undergoing extensive renovations.  At the centre he met many athletes, a number of whom are aiming for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

IOC President Thomas Bach visits Ukrainian Olympic sports centre - © IOC/Greg Martin

Throughout his trip, President Bach had the chance to speak to a great many Ukrainian athletes and Olympians, many of whom thanked the IOC for making the Olympic Games in Tokyo happen.

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