Russia is actively considering a bid to host the Summer Olympic Games in 2032 or 2036, according to Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov.
While the next three locations of the Summer Olympics have already been determined – Tokyo in 2020, Paris in 2024, and Los Angeles in 2028 – Kolobkov said Russia could seek to host the event beyond that.
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The minister said that while any potential Russian bid would have to be assessed from a range of aspects, the authorities were considering it.
"We are certainly thinking about this [to bid for Summer Olympics]," Kolobkov told TASS in Vladivostok on Wednesday.
The minister added, however, that a Summer Games bid was just one among a number of possibilities for major events.
"We are thinking not only about the Olympics as there are also the Youth Olympic Games and the [FISU] Summer Universiade," Kolobkov said.
Russia has hosted the Summer Games once before – in Moscow in 1980 – and hosted the winter edition of the event in 2014 in Sochi.
It also successfully held the FIFA World Cup last summer, which was hosted at 12 stadiums in 11 cities. Kolobkov said holding major international sporting events such as these provides a fillip to the nation’s economy and development.
"We think about hosting such major tournaments because they serve to boost the regional development as well as the development of our country in general and contribute into the national economy," Kolobkov said.
"This is why we are really thinking about it [hosting the Olympics], but the final decision on this issue is yet to be made."
At a meeting with World Cup volunteers back in July, President Vladimir Putin said it was possible Russia would bid for the Summer Olympics, but that specific plans had not been made.
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The governor of St. Petersburg, Georgy Poltavchenko, said earlier this year that the city could be a candidate for the Games in 2032 or 2036. Other countries reportedly mulling bids for the 2032 Olympics include Indonesia, India, Australia and Germany.
Earlier this week, South Korean Sports Minister Do Jong-Hwan said the county would float the idea of a joint bid for the 2032 Games with officials in North Korea.
The IOC isn’t set to make a decision on the next Summer Games hosts until around 2025.