Cold War 2.0: Russia V Austria V South Korea in Olympic Bid Battle
Russia, Austria and South Korea will battle it out on Wednesday 4th July 2007 for a chance to host the prestigious 2014 winter Olympics. The current thinking is that Pyeongchang in S. Korea is the favourite, followed by Sochi Russia, and in last place Salzburg Austria.
SK only narrowly missed out to Vancouver in the bid for the 2010 winter games, and would be an adventurous choice for the Olympic committee in light of its proximity to "Axis of Evil" North Korea. The South Koreans argue that winning the games would contribute to world peace because the North may be persuaded to join the games with a combined North/South Korean team.
Sochi, Russia, would have a lot of work to do construction-wise, but it has strong government backing and it's expected that President Putin, a keen skier himself, will attend the Olympic bid, which could help sway the vote.
It may come as a surprise that the renowned and well established ski resort of Salzburg is lagging behind competitors which lack its ski pedigree, but the fact that the previous winter Olympic games (2006) were held in Turin, Italy, would likely mean that the Olympic committee will be looking to take the games out of Europe this time round. Salzburg does have the advantage of being fully ready to roll however, with the vast majority of its infrastructure and stadiums already in place.
The Winter Olympic committee, and the hopefuls will be meeting in the unlikely setting of Guatemala - a country that has no ski resorts, but does offer volcanoes of over 4000m in height which can receive snow even during summer.