The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Norwegian capital of Oslo joins race to host 2022 Winter Olympics

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OSLO - Oslo will bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, seeking to bring the games back to Norway for the first time since Lillehammer in 1994.

"We have not yet sent the letter to the IOC but we're going to it within the deadline," bid committee spokeswoman Ingunn Olsen told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Nov. 14 is the deadline for submission of bids to the International Olympic Committee.

Oslo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952. The 1994 Lillehammer Games are considered among the most successful Winter Olympics ever.

Oslo joins a field of declared candidates that also includes the Ukrainian city of Lviv; Beijing and the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou; and Almaty, Kazakhstan.

A referendum will be held Sunday in Germany on a proposed bid from Munich. Poland and Slovakia are expected to lodge a joint bid.

The IOC will select the 2022 host city in 2015.

Oslo's bid includes plans to hold the medal ceremonies in the city centre and several competitions in venues on the city outskirts. The Alpine events would be held in Lillehammer, about 135 kilometres (85 miles) north of Oslo. The venues for the opening and closing ceremonies have not yet been decided, Olsen said.

In May, the Oslo city council voted in favour of asking for a 34 billion Norwegian kroner ($5.7 billion) financial guarantee from the Norwegian government — a precondition for hosting the games. Norwegian lawmakers are expected to decide on that in the second half of 2014, Olsen said.

A popular referendum in Oslo in September backed the bid to host the games.

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Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.

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