By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

May 28 - Ukraine, whose slow preparations for football's 2012 European Championships have been heavily criticised, are planning to bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych announced today.

The bid would probably be based on Bukovnya in the Carpathian Mountains.

"If we decide to initiate this, we will start working on the official nomination of our country as the holder of the Winter Olympic Games in Carpathians," said Yanukovich.

The Ukrainian Olympic Committee, led by 1988 Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka, who is the President, backed the proposal.

He said: "In the terms of potential and resources, Ukraine is one of the most powerful states in the region.

"In order to realise this potential, join the society around the Olympic ideals and values around the idea of a healthy lifestyle, bring the country to the next level, holding the Olympic Games is the best fit."

Yanukovich has recently been forced to reassure UEFA that Ukraine will be ready to host Euro 2012 which it is staging jointly with Poland after delays in building stadiums and infrastructure for the tournament.

But Bubka, an influential member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has already spoken to Yanukovych about bidding for the Olympics.

He said: "As a possible base of the Game can be considered a winter resort of Bukovel.

"At the same time, the potential capital venue of the Games is a matter open for discussion."

But any potential bid from Ukraine could be hit by the fact that Sochi in neighbouring Russia is hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics and that Munich is among the favourites to stage 2018.

The IOC is due to choose the host city for 2022 in 2015.

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