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By Sportswriter Cao Jianjie

SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- With the Asian Winter Games winding down without a glitch in Sapporo, it is time for the three-time host of the continental event to seriously consider a bid for the Winter Olympics.

Sapporo was the first Asian city to host the Winter Games and its 1972 Olympic legacy still lasts to this day.

Most of the Asian Games competitions, including Alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski jumping, biathlon and ice hockey, were held on renovated 1972 venues, winning a nod from Olympic Council of Asian President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, who said Sapporo has all the facilities needed to bring the Winter Olympics back.

Sapporo officials said they are mulling over a bid for 2026, but nothing official has been decided.

"Our citizens' interest in bidding for the Winter Olympics is rising," said Sapporo mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto, also the chief organizer of the Winter Asiad.

The OCA president suggests Sapporo bid for the 2026 Games, saying "Sapporo is capable and ready."

It would mean the IOC would return to a city in Asia for a third straight time following PyeongChang in 2018 and Beijing in 2022.

The Japanese Olympic Committee has yet openly voiced their support for a 2026 bid, considering Tokyo is hosting the Summer Olympics in 2020.

Sapporo's abilities in organizing big games have been recognized by the 2022 host.

"I am impressed with their savvy, diligence and efficiency," said Wang Yanxiao, head of a six-member "learning team" sent by the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

"We come to learn," added Wang, "especially in the areas of personnel management, tech support, venue design and construction, post-games use of facilities and venues, as well as media service."

Wang noted a deeply-rooted winter sports tradition in Sapporo.

"In addition to natural resources, Sapporo has a great winter sports tradition and a perfect atmosphere, as well as a deep pool of winter sports personnel," Wang said.

Wei Jizhong, an OCA honorary life vice president, gave glowing marks to Sapporo.

"People here are enthusiastic about winter sports, and they are very nice," said Wei.

"They are cheering for figure skaters from south Asia even though they tumbled on the ice. Volunteers are very helpful, and 79 percent of tickets were sold out," he added.

Bidding applications for 2026 are expected to be due early in 2018 and the International Olympic Committee will decide a winner in 2019.

A commuter sits in front of a closed metro Barra Funda station during a strike by metro subway workers in Sao Paulo Adidas Ultra Boost Mujer Rosa España , June 5, 2014. Union workers of Sao Paulo's Metro subway system are on strike since midnight, with just a week to go before the 2014 World Cup opens in Brazil Hombre Adidas Ultra Boost Cookies and Cream Negras España , local media reported. The notice, top R, reads "Workers of metro in strike". [PhotoAgencies]

SAO PAULO - A labor court slapped fines on the subway workers union Sunday for a strike that has closed many stations and clogged the avenues of Brazil's largest city just days before it hosts the World Cup opening match.

Angered by the ruling Adidas ACE 16+ PureControl Ultra Boost Hombre Negras España , union representatives said the strike would continue Monday, and its leader warned that the strikers would try to shut down the subway line serving the stadium hosting the tournament's first game Thursday.

Union officials also said other groups promised to join strikers early Monday for a big demonstration at a metro station.

"The government is declaring a war against its workers," said Alex Fernandes Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged Negras Boost España , the union's general secretary. "They sit down to talk to us or there won't be subway service during the World Cup."

Subway workers were angry that the eight-judge panel threatened even higher penalties if they didn't return to their jobs. The court fined the union $175,000 for the first four days of the strike and said it would add on $220,000 for each additional day the work stoppage continued.

Authorities have been able to provide limited subway service Hombre Undefeated x adidas Ultra Boost Blancas España , but the strike has resulted in traffic chaos clogging key streets and has closed the main subway stations in Sao Paulo. If the walkout continued Thursday, it would be difficult if not impossible for many fans to get to Itaquerao stadium for the opening match featuring Brazil and Croatia. The stadium is about 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of the city center.

Sunday was the fourth day of the strike, and it closed more than 30 subway stops. World Cup visitors arriving in the city have run into more traffic jams than usual in a city already used to heavy congestion.

"There was no minimum care for the population Hombre Adidas Ultra Boost ATR Mid TRACE KHAKI Marrones España , causing great disturbance, even in terms of public safety," said judge Rafael Pugliese Hombre Adidas Ultra Boost ATR Mid Granate España , who was on the panel that imposed the fine.

The Regional Labor Court in Sao Paulo also agreed with management's offer of an 8.7 percent wage increase for subway workers.

The strikers are demanding an increase of more than 12 percent, but the Sao Paulo state-owned company that runs the system says that isn't possible because fares haven't gone up the past two years.

Union leader Fernandes said it won't pay the fines and will appeal the judges' ruling.

The court met over the weekend because of concerns about the strike's effect on the World Cup, which Brazil's leaders had hoped would be a chance for Latin America's biggest and richest country to shine on the international stage.

Police officers Hombre Adidas Ultra Boost Clima Carbon Orchid Tint España , teachers and public transportation workers have staged strikes in the weeks leading up to soccer's premier event. These have overshadowed protests over the cost of putting on the World Cup, which had been feared for possible disruptions following last year's huge anti-government demonstrations during the Confederations Cup soccer tournament.

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