2023 European Games
|Host city||Kraków, Poland|
|Nations participating||50 (expected)|
|Events||23 sports (expected)|
|Opening ceremony||9 June (expected)|
|Closing ceremony||25 June (expected)|
|Main venue||Stadion Miejski|
At the time of the 2015 European Games, the city of Manchester, United Kingdom expressed its wish to host the 2023 Games. No further interest has been expressed since the 2018 European Championships were awarded to Glasgow, Scotland and the 2022 Commonwealth Games were awarded to Birmingham, England.
The EOC launched the bid process on 20 September 2018 after a meeting of the constituent National Olympic Committees in Stockholm. Following the approval of the Bid Document, it was sent to the 50 NOCs in Europe alongside a letter from EOC President Janez Kocijančič inviting applications. The application stage was set to close on 28 February 2019.
In January 2019, Marcin Krupa, the mayor of Katowice, Poland, announced the city's interest hosting the Games, becoming the first candidate city. Soon after, Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russia expressed its interest in hosting the 2023 Games and its intention to submit an application to the EOC. Its bid would be made attractive by the fact the city built much sporting infrastructure when hosting the 2013 Summer Universiade and the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships and that a Russian bid has been supported by premier Vladimir Putin.
In February 2019, the application deadline was extended by two months, until 30 April, due to "strong interest from across the continent". In May 2019, after the extended deadline had passed, the EOC again postponed the deadline, this time until the 31 May. No reason was given for the second extension.
In May 2019, the Polish Olympic Committee announced that Kraków would replace Katowice as the Polish bid for the Games following the withdrawal of its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics and the wane of interest in Katowice. The same month, EOC President Janez Kocijančič reiterated his expectation that the host for the 2023 Games would be chosen before the start of the 2019 European Games in Minsk on the 21 June 2019.
After the deadline for bid submission passed on the 31 May 2019, the European Olympic Committees confirmed that only one formal bid had been completed, that of Kraków in collaboration with the province Małopolska. The mayor of Kraków, Jacek Majchrowski, had previously said that the city might decline to run the Games without support from regional and national government.
The official election of the European Games 2023 host took place at an EOC General Assembly in Minsk on 22 June 2019 where it was unanimously decided that Kraków and the surrounding Lesser Poland region would hold the Games. The vote was by a show of hands.
|2023 European Games bidding results|
On 28 June 2019, six days after Krakow was awarded the Games, the EOC confirmed it had signed a letter of intent with the European Union of Gymnastics to include gymnastics in the upcoming Games. In July 2019, Hasan Arat, the vice-president of the Turkish Olympic Committee, was named chair of the EOC's Co-ordination Commission for the 2023 Games. He said he was "honoured and humbled by the decision".
In October the same year, both the city of Krakow and the Małopolska region signed a letter of intent confirming their joint commitment to the hosting of the Games. In March 2020, Kraków's mayor Jacek Majchrowski warned of cuts to the city budget and impacts on the tourism industry due to coronavirus which could impact the success of the Games.
The preliminary list of sports
- Artistic swimming
- Basketball (3x3)
- Beach handball
- Canoe sprint
- Road cycling
- Mountain biking
- Modern pentathlon
- Mountain running
- Rugby sevens
- Ski jumping (summer)
- Sport climbing
- Table tennis
The region of Małopolska, to which the Games were jointly awarded, declared itself an LGBT-free zone in 2019. In August 2020, he Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross wrote to Kraków's mayor Jacek Majchrowski to confirm the city's opposition to homophobia after calls for a "serious rethink" of the two cities' twinning relationship. In September 2020, a group of European politicians (including Liz Barker, a member of the House of Lords and Terry Reintke and Marc Angel, two MEPs) published a letter addressed to the European Olympic Committees in which they demanded LGBT rights be respected and suggested that the Games should be held in a different location due to the Małopolska region's status. Flemish sports minister Ben Weyts said the region's LGBT-free zone declaration is "incompatible with the values of the Olympic Charter" and that Olympic Committees should not support bids from such regions.
The EOC responded, saying that there would be "no discrimination of any kind" and that the Olympic Charter would be respected.
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