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Sofia 2014 Winter Games bid gathers pace

Written by: Staff
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SOFIA, June 13 (Reuters) Support for Bulgarian capital Sofia's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics among the Balkan country's population has risen despite the slender advertising campaign, a poll showed today.

Sofia is up against Austria's Salzburg, South Korea's Pyeongchang, Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi, Spain's Jaca, Kazakhstan's Almaty and Georgia's Borjomi for the 2014 Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will draw up a shortlist on June 22 before deciding the winner in July next year.

Sofia's support rose to 74 per cent from 69 per cent in January, according to the new Gallup poll, published in the Meridian Match newspaper.

The poll also showed that 81 percent of Sofia residents support the candidature versus 66 percent in the first month of the year.

Only 16 per cent reckon Sofia has a good chance of succeeding while 40 per cent said the capital does not stand a chance.

Optimism that Bulgaria will be able to organise the Games successfully has risen to 50 per cent from 45 per cent in January.

''We are very pleased that our efforts to promote the bid are having a positive effect across Bulgaria,'' the Bulgarian Olympic Committee (BOC) president Stefka Kostadinova said.

It is the third time Sofia, the only capital city which is candidate, has launched a bid to host the Winter Olympics.

The Bulgarian government has undertaken an ambitious programme of modernisation of the country's transport infrastructure which will take place whether or not the Games are awarded to Sofia.

REUTERS PM DS1350

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