Winter Olympic Games hosting plans of Soviet government



PhD I.S. Tryakhov1
Associate Professor А.V. Bolotov1
1Vladimir State University n.a. A.G. and N.G. Stoletovs, Vladimir

Upon the successful completion of the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, the Soviet government was prepared to file a claim, on initiative of the Sports Committee of the USSR, for hosting a Winter Olympics. As was found by an analysis of the Communist Party documents of that period, the government considered filing a claim for the 1992 and then for the 1996 Winter Olympics, with Leningrad provisionally nominated to host the 1992 event, and Sochi, Bakuriany and Alma Ata offered as hosting candidates for 1996. However, as soon as the Soviet government was informed that the Bulgarian government had filed a claim to host the 1992 Winter Olympics, it decided to give way to the allied nation. When the candidate host cities for the 1996 Winter Olympics were discussed, the decision-makers made a special emphasis on the economic benefits of the initiative, and this was the main reason for the so-called Big Sochi or Red Lawn being preferred since the sport infrastructure and facilities were located there closer and the required infrastructure development and upgrade costs were the lowest versus the two other candidate cities. However, a political decision to nominate this Soviet city a candidate for the 1996 Winter Olympics had never been made due to the growing difficulties in the internal political and socio-economic situation. The breakdown of the Soviet Union followed by huge political transformations forced the local elites to shelve this and other ambitious sport projects for better times.

Keywords: Winter Olympics, perestroika, International Olympic Committee, Central Committee of Communist Party, Sports Committee of USSR.


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