- © RIA Novosti. Anton Denisov
© RIA Novosti. Anton Denisov
KAZAN, Russia, July 17 (R-Sport) - The mayor of Kazan, the Russian city hosting the World University Games, vowed Wednesday to hold a city-wide opinion poll on whether a bid should be made for the 2024 Olympics.
The idea was put forward by Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov in the run-up to the student games earlier this month, with the close confidant of President Vladimir Putin noting that the scale and format of the events were very similar.
"This issue is under serious discussion not only in the media, but in society," said Kazan Mayor Ilsur Metshin, who is a member of Putin's United Russia party.
"It is the most serious of issues and requires a thorough work-through by the leaders of the country and the (Tatarstan) republic," he said. "We also need to ask the advice of the people. I want to conduct a survey to find out what our citizens want; what kind of party they want to see.
"Only having worked with them can we find a solution. If such a decision (to bid for the Games) is taken, we will be ready to push for this too," Metshin said.
Kazan has won praise for how it has handled the logistical side of the July 6-17 student games, which have attracted in excess of 10,000 athletes taking part in some 27 sports and close later Wednesday.
"By the quantity of sports and of participants and the burden on hotels and the airport, our Universiade differs in no way from the London Olympics for us, the organizers," the mayor added. "Time will tell."
Speaking ahead of the July 6 opening ceremony, Zhukov said “I think that in the future Kazan may make an application for the Games.” He added the city would also look to host upcoming world championships in athletics, hockey and volleyball.
A host for the 2020 Summer Games will be selected in September from Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid. Bidding for the 2024 Games opens in 2015.
Kazan, Russian's eighth-largest city with a population of 1.14 million, will also play host to the 2015 world aquatics championships and some games during the 2018 football World Cup.
Next year's Winter Olympics will be held in the southern Russian city of Sochi.