Krakow to vote May 25 on bid for 2022 Winter Games

WARSAW, Poland — Residents of Krakow will vote in a referendum on May 25 on whether they support the Polish city’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Mayor Jacek Majchrowski called for the referendum, seeking public support before making further financial commitments to the Olympic project. The referendum will also seek opinion on other local issues and coincide with nationwide elections to the European Parliament.

Majchrowski’s spokeswoman, Monika Chylaszek, told The Associated Press on Thursday that Krakow will withdraw the bid if residents of the southern Polish city vote against.

"We believe the people will vote for the games, which will give our bid additional support," Chylaszek said.

Polish Olympic cross-country ski champion Justyna Kowalczyk has said she supports the games because they would give Krakow global attention.


Under Krakow’s bid plans, Alpine ski events would be held across the border in Jasna, Slovakia. It would be the first time the Winter Games would be spread over two countries.

Krakow is one of five cities bidding for the 2022 Games, along with Almaty, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Lviv, Ukraine, and Oslo.

The referendum in Krakow means three of the candidates have yet to secure final local approval. The bid from Lviv is in doubt because of the political situation in Ukraine, while Oslo has yet to gain government financial backing

The cities submitted their bid files to the International Olympic Committee three weeks ago. The Krakow referendum will come less than two months before the IOC executive board meets in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 7-9 to decide which cities go through to the final phase.

The IOC will select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.