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Georgia to Bid for 2014 Winter Olympics


Georgia's government says it will bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, but it faces some stiff competition from cities in South Korea, Austria, Sweden, and China.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili signed a letter of intent Wednesday which was sent to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland. The Georgia bid focuses on the ski resort of Bakuriani, where winter sports teams trained and competitions were held when Georgia was part of the former Soviet Union.

The bid is expected to cost more than two billion dollars, but the head of the Georgian Olympic committee said the money could be raised from business sources.

Pyeongchang, South Korea; Ostersund, Sweden; and Salzburg, Austria have also announced plans to bid for the Games. Sofia, Bulgaria and Harbin, China are also considering bids. Pyeongchang and Salzburg lost in their bids to host the 2010 Olympics, which were awarded to Vancouver, Canada.

The IOC Executive Board will meet next year to decide whether to accept all the candidates. The full IOC will select the 2014 host city in July of 2007.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP.