LONDON -- Sergej Gontcharov sums up the status of Ukraines bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics in one word: uncertain. The Ukrainian city of Lviv was among the five contenders that submitted applicant files to the International Olympic Committee by Fridays deadline. With Ukraine engulfed in political crisis and its strategic Crimean peninsula under Russian control, its unclear whether Lviv will be able to keep pursuing its Olympic campaign. "Obviously so much is connected to what is going on in the country," Gontcharov, the CEO of the Lviv bid, told The Associated Press in an interview Friday. "As of now, there are more urgent and more important things that have to be clarified." Competing with Lviv for the 2022 Olympics are Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; and Oslo. The five delivered their applicant files to the IOC this week, outlining their vision and concept for the games, in the first phase of the bid process. The IOC executive board will decide which cities go through to the final phase at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 7-9. The full IOC will select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "We did our job by submitting the files to the best of our ability and now we have to wait and see," Gontcharov said. "Hopefully the situation calms down quickly and is resolved peacefully. Then we will enter into more detailed and more concrete talks with the new government." Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Olympics, is seeking to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games. Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Games. Krakow would hold some ski events across the border in Slovakia. Almaty is a strong contender, bidding for a second straight time after failing to make the cut for 2014. Lvivs bid has been buffeted by the upheaval in Ukraine, including the anti-government protests and outbursts of violence that led pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee last month. Russian troops have since moved into Crimea, where the public will vote Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine and become part of Russia. How long Lviv remains in the race is anyones guess. "Im not here telling fairytales," Gontcharov said by telephone. "Of course, its very uncertain. The concept itself is based on great demand and potential. Whether we will be able to realize it now is unclear at the moment, too uncertain." Gontcharov was in Lausanne on Thursday to meet with IOC officials and confirm the bid files had arrived by shipment. Just getting that far was an achievement. "We worked very hard to complete the applicant file," he said. "Its all been a very big challenge. So many times we had to cancel some events that were planned in promotion of the bid, such as the logo launch and different social events. Every time when we thought the situation has calmed down, there was a new escalation." While most bid cities work hard to promote their case, Lviv is keeping a low profile while Ukraine remains in turmoil. "All the nice words and slogans and so on that we have prepared, theres no sense in it," Gontcharov said. Lviv is located in western Ukraine, where much of the population favours ties with the European Union. Many in eastern Ukraine have closer economic and traditional ties to Russia. The Lviv bid also has offices in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The offices, located near Independence Square, were closed for two days during last months deadly clashes between demonstrators and police. "We came back to our offices and found three bullets," Gontcharov said. "It was very difficult to concentrate on the project." A key requirement for any Olympic bid is government backing and financial guarantees -- something that has been thrown into doubt for Lviv by the changes and instability in Ukraine. "Of course (the bid) depends on the government highly, and right now the government has other priorities," Gontcharov said. An IOC panel will examine the files of the 2022 bid cities and submit a report to the executive board before its decision in July on the short list of finalists. "It is a short time frame but if you have followed the events in Ukraine, from one day to the other there can be so many things happening," Gontcharov said. Alec Martinez Jersey
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. Bring on Freddy Garcia. The well-travelled 36-year-old right-hander earned his second NL victory since 2007, and his first since he joined the Atlanta Braves last month, pitching six innings to help beat Miami 6-1 Thursday.HOUSTON - James Harden wouldnt admit he was thinking about last season in Houstons first game against Portland since the Trail Blazers eliminated the Rockets from the playoffs in the first round.Dwight Howard was certain he was.I know its kind of like a weight off his back because of what happened in the playoffs against Portland, Howard said. And (Monday) he just destroyed them.Harden scored a season-high 44 points to help the Rockets cruise to a 110-95 victory and snap a two-game skid.Last year, nah. What happened the last two games, Harden said when asked if he had a chip on his shoulder from the early playoff exit. Two losses at home is unacceptable, so we wanted to come out here and not make it a third.The Trail Blazers were without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with an upper-respiratory illness, and had their five-game winning streak snapped.Defensively we didnt give much resistance in the first half and they took advantage of that, coach Terry Stotts said. Offensively we turned the ball over too much and really werent able to mount any kind of legitimate comeback.Harden had 31 in the first half to help the Rockets erase an early eight-point deficit and take a 20-point halftime lead. The Blazers didnt threaten after that and Harden went to the bench for good with about 4 minutes left and Houston up 107-86.It was Hardens NBA-leading third 40-point game this season, with all of them coming this month. Harden, who leads the NBA in scoring, has had 11 games with at least 30 points this season, which also leads the league.He played really well, coach Kevin McHale said. That was about as much juice and energy that weve played with in a long time.Damian Lillard led Portland with 18 points and CJ McCollum added 17.Harden came just two points shy of his career high, set against Oklahoma City last season. He also had seven assists and five steals, while Howard added 16 points and 13 rebounds.The Trail Blazers sccored eight straight points, with five coming from Lillard, to cut the lead to 84-70 midway through the third quarter.dddddddddddd But Houston used a 9-2 run to push it to 93-72 with 2 minutes left in the period.Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer to become the third player in NBA history to make 2,000 3-pointers and push Houstons lead to 96-76 entering the fourth quarter. Ray Allen and Reggie Miller are the other players to reach the plateau.The Rockets, who lead the league in 3-pointers, made 13 on Monday night.Wesley Matthews received a flagrant foul when he knocked Donatas Motiejunas to the ground when the two were fighting for a loose ball early in the third quarter.A highlight for Harden came in the second quarter, when he drove into the lane and threw up an off-balance shot that swished through the net as he was fouled by Matthews. Harden high-fived several fans in courtside seats as Matthews jawed with officials to draw a technical foul.Harden made both free throws to leave Houston up 57-45. He had eight points in the quarter after that, including a layup at the buzzer with two defenders on him to make it 73-53 at halftime.TIP-INS:Trail Blazers: Aldridge didnt come to the arena, instead staying at the team hotel to rest. Stotts said before the game that he wasnt sure if Aldridge would be able to play on Tuesday night. ... Monday was the first time this season that Portland has allowed 10 or more 3-pointers in a game.Rockets: Terrence Jones (left leg nerve inflammation) remains out for Houston. ... Houstons 73 points were a season high a first half.NEW FACESCorey Brewer and Alexey Shved made their debuts for the Rockets after being acquired in a three-team trade on Friday. Brewer came to Houston from the Timberwolves and Shved was playing for the 76ers. Brewer had 12 points, five steals and four assists, and Shved had three points and a rebound.UP NEXTTrail Blazers: Visit Oklahoma City on Tuesday.Rockets: Visit Memphis on Friday. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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