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Krakow's deputy mayor to lead Winter Games bid

The Associated Press

KRAKOW, Poland (AP) -- Krakow's deputy mayor was chosen Thursday to lead the Polish city's candidacy for the 2022 Winter Olympics following the resignation of the previous bid chief.

Magdalena Sroka succeeds Jagna Marczulajtis-Walczak, a former Olympic snowboarder who resigned Saturday following media allegations that her husband offered money to journalists in return for favorable stories about the bid.

Sroka's appointment came during an extraordinary meeting of the bid committee.

''The games are a great chance for the development of Krakow,'' Sroka said. ''They can accelerate the implementation of strategic investments in the city and in the entire region.''

Improving communication with the public opinion is one of her chief tasks, she said.

Krakow residents will vote in a referendum on May 25 on whether they support hosting the games. The vote was requested by the city mayor, Jacek Majchrowski.

Six of the bid committee's eight board members were replaced in Thursday's meeting. The new board, composed of officials from Krakow and nearby towns involved in the bid, immediately held its first meeting.

Under Krakow's bid plans, Alpine ski events would be held across the border in Jasna, Slovakia. It would be the first time the Winter Games would be spread over two countries.

Krakow is one of five cities bidding for the 2022 Games, along with Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo.

The IOC executive board will meet in July to decide which cities advance to the final stage. The IOC will select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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