Georgia positions itself to host Winter Olympics
Georgia has expressed its desire to host the Winter Olympic Games. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili spoke about the ambitious project at a government meeting today and called on ministers to ‘approach the issue a realistically as possible’.
“We have a very concrete, ambitious plan, which will help stimulate the development of the country in a short amount of time. The sheer announcement of Georgia’s interest in hosting the games is important by itself – but more importantly, it is also realistic,” stated the Prime Minister.
Kvirikashvili says that the privilege of hosting the Winter Olympic Games should be a strategic goal:
“The realization of the plan will lead to the creation of a huge number of work places, an increase in tourists which would also mean additional income for Georgian families; this will stimulate the development of tourism-related industries such as transport, agriculture, communications and so on. We are taking it upon ourselves to solve an issue that could have a colossal effect on the entire state,” stated Kvirikashvili.
The Olympic Committee is well-aware of Georgia’s ambitions. At the end of January Kvirikashvili met with Tomas Bach, the president of the organization, at the Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Geneva and asked for their support. The president of the IOC expressed that he was ready to send a special delegation of experts and advisors to Tbilisi who would study the possibilities on site.
• The Georgian government hopes to host the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in 2023. On 1 May 2017 the Ski Federation of Georgia nominated Bakuriani as a potential location to host the tournament. Georgia’s main rival is the Finnish resort town of Ruka Kuusamo, which already has experience in hosting such events.
• Georgia has already applied to host the Winter Olympics back in 2014, which would have been hosted in Borjomi. However, the IOC was not very supportive of the suggestion and Borjomi was excluded during the first stage of decision-making.
• There are presently six Georgian winter resorts: Gudauri, located in the Kazbegi region at a height of 2 196 metres above sea level, Bakuriani (Borjomi Gorge, 1 708 metres above sea level), Goderdzi (Khulna, 2 000 metres above sea level), Tenuldi (Mestia, 2 200 metres above sea level), Khatsvali (Mestia, 2 500 metres above sea level) and Bakhmaro (Chokhatauri, 2 050 metres above sea level)