Slovakia Aiming High

(ATR) Slovak president considers possibility of future Olympic bid.

(ATR) Slovakian president Andrej Kiska tells Around the Rings that his small but proud country would consider an Olympic bid if it could be done prudently.

"There was of course this possibility and unfortunately the citizens of Krakow rejected this possibility," Kiska said referring to a joint Slovakia and Poland bid that was considered for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

"Slovakia is a beautiful country, a fantastic country, and I would be very glad if there is a realistic financial estimation – I would be more than glad to have the Olympic Games in our country," said Kiska, who has been president since being elected in June 2014 and is serving a five-year term.

Kiska was joined by Czech Republic president Milos Zeman at the official opening of the Slovak House on Avenue of the Americas in Barra da Tijuca.

The Slovak leader returned the favor accompanying Zeman to the opening of the Czech Republic house shortly thereafter.

Kiska said the neighbors still share a strong bond. The two split amicably on January 1, 1993 in what is known as the "Velvet Revolution."

Fifty-two Slovakian athletes will represent the country including some talented whitewater kayakers and canoeists, competitive tennis players and elite cycling sprinter Peter Sagan.

Slovakia achieved four medals at London 2012: one silver and three bronze. The silver medal was won by Zuzana Stefecekova in trap shooting.

Some of their best hopes in Rio lie with Sagan and four-time World Cup champion kayaker Jana Dukatova. The London 2012 Olympian offered her thoughts on her country hosting an Olympic Games down the road.

"I think for each athlete having Games at home is huge, but after I saw London and now Rio, I’m not sure we could really deliver – it’s pretty hard. For bigger counties it’s pretty hard to do it, but maybe one day."

The Slovakian president spoke of the importance of Olympism and the role of the Games in today’s global society.

"Olympic Games are not only about the goals or seconds [in competition] but the values, friendship, empathy and being together." Kiska said. "Nowadays, in this world, it’s very important that people from all religions from all around the world are here under one roof of Rio de Janiero, being together and being happy together."

Written by Brian Pinelliin Rio de Janeiro

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