By Tom Degun

Andriy Shevchenko_15-06-12June 16 - Pole vault legend Sergey Bubka has claimed the early success of the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Ukraine could help bring the Olympics and Paralympics to the country with a possible bid now in the pipeline for the 2022 Winter Games.

Although Euro 2012 has seen problems of violence in Poland, particularly among Russian fans staying in the country, co-hosts Ukraine have so far hosted a smooth event with no major incidents to speak of, despite fears that there would be problems before the tournament got underway.

The atmosphere in the country has also been boosted after star striker Andriy Shevchenko (pictured above) led his team to a 2-1 victory over Sweden in Ukraine's first game of the competition by scoring both of the goals.

The influential Bubka (pictured below), who is President of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee, vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, has continually talked up a bid from his country for the Games and he admits that Euro 2012 is helping boost the prospects of it becoming a reality.

Sergey Bubka_15-06-12
"For me, my personal dream is that one day, it would be great to host the Games here," the 48-year-old told Reuters.

"Ukraine is a strong Olympic sport country and for me, the Olympic Movement and sport is my life.

"Of course I am dreaming and looking forward.

"Euro 2012 is helping that dream."

The Seoul 1988 pole vault Olympic champion and current world record holder admits that he would love to host a Summer Games in Ukraine but that a Winter Games in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured below) towards the west of Ukraine seems far more likely at this stage.

"Last year our President Mr [Viktor] Yanukovych said the future might be the Carpathian Mountains because it is in winter sport where we need to have a boost," he said.

"We need to have infrastructure.

"We're strong in Summer Olympic sports, but in the past we are not a winter country so that would be a boost."

bukovel-carpathians ukraine_15-06-12
The 2022 bid process is in the early stages with the winning bid not due to be announced until the IOC Session in 2015.

A number of high profile cities are currently considering bidding for the event including Denver in the United States, Oslo in Norway and Barcelona in Spain.

But the Carpathian Mountains would appear an ideal location for a Winter Olympics and Paralympics as they are the second-longest mountain range in Europe and considered one of the most picturesque locations in the continent.

Sochi in Russia are set to host the 2014 Winter Games, while Pyeongchang in South Korea emphatically won the right to stage the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the IOC Session in Durban last year, beating off competition from Munich and Annecy in the first round of voting.

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