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SBD Global/October 29, 2013/Olympics

St. Petersburg Mayor Poltavchenko Says City Looking To Bid For Summer Olympics

St. Petersburg Mayor Georgy Poltavchenko said that the city "is likely to make a bid to host the Summer Olympics," according to R-SPORT. Poltavchenko "made the announcement at a ceremony marking the arrival of the the Olympic torch in Russia's second city." The torch "is currently traveling around Russia ahead of the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi." Poltavchenko said, "We are looking at the question of St. Petersburg making an application to host the Summer Olympics" (R-SPORT, 10/28). R-SPORT also reported local analysts said that "St. Petersburg is not ready to bid for the Olympic Games and should concentrate on the events it is already set to host." Kirill Nabutov, who hails from the city and commentated on the opening ceremonies of the last two Olympics for Russian TV, said that "it is wishful thinking to plan a St. Petersburg Olympic bid before the city hosts World Cup football" in '18. Nabutov: "On the one hand, why shouldn't a big city with facilities and resources bid for the Olympic Games? But it's another question whether there's a great chance of getting them. A lot will depend on how Sochi goes, and the 2018 championships." He added that the city’s top priority should be completing the stadium for its World Cup games, which is still just 45% finished despite being under construction since '07, according to a statement Monday from the company in charge. Nabutov added that any more delays to the stadium run the risk of turning St. Petersburg into "the laughing stock of the world" (R-SPORT, 10/28).
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