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  1. Dusting off the possibilities for a Sofia bid: I personally thought Sofia had one of the more interesting bids for 2014. It's one of the few European capitals with great winter sports oppotunities virtually at its doorstep. Reading the old topic I refer to below, I was enthusiastic about the ideas raised there and pondering whether indeed a bid without Bansko would be able to succeed. For instance: - Use Borovets for alpine skiing, ski jumping and nordic combined - Use Vitosha (Aleko) for freestyle and snowboarding. - Have all ice events in Sofia. Bobsleigh and luge somewhere on the outskirts of the city (Knyazhevo?) One venue that I'd still be wondering where to put would be the venue for cross country skiing and biathlon. What would be the options for this venue? - This older discussion suggested using Vitosha for cross country skiing as well. Although I know that there is a cross country ski track on Vitosha, just below Aleko, I would think this would be difficult to combine with using Aleko as a ski venue because it would be hard to get spectators up to the mountain for both venues. With the status of the mountain as a nature preserve, I'd think that possibilities for upgrading the road up the mountain would be limited. Even cranking up the capacity of both cable cars up the mountain would probably not be enough, or am wrong in this? - In the panorama of the venues proposed in the Sofia 1992 bid, it seems that a venue for cross country was planned in the western part of Vitosha (as far as I can see it would be somewhere between Kopitoto and Zlatnite Mostove). No doubt this could be a beautiful venue, but getting all spectators up there would also be challenging. Even if the cable car between Knyazhevo and Kopitoto would be restored. And probably there would be severe environmental challenges here as well? - Looking at the map, it springs to mind that there could be a possibility to organize this venue near Vladaya, lower down the western slope of Vitosha? Since road and railway access could be more easily organized here, this could work. I'm just not sure if there's enough snow usually there at that altitude? - of course, Borovets could host all nordic skiing. Road access could be improved from all directions (Dupnitsa, Ihtiman and Pancharevo). Still, pressure on Borovets would be quite large if all these events would be hosted there. And somehow the idea of having cross-country and biathlon closer to the city appeals to me. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this!
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