Beijing Will Host the 2022 Winter OlympicsAugust 05, 2015

The 128th International Olympic Committee (OIC) Session in Kuala Lumpur saw the members determined which cities would host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games. It was a classic David-versus-Goliath match, pitting Almaty against Beijing. The results were hardly surprising, with the Chinese capital becoming the first city to host the Summer and Winter Games. Not a few thought that the outcome was anticlimactic.

The OIC might have chosen a different city if Stockholm, Oslo, and Munich were still in the running. But a referendum was held. The citizens (of these cities) voted against hosting this prestigious sport event. A hefty price tag was the main reason for their change of mind. They only have to look at the dilapidated facilities in Sarajevo and Athens, which hosted the 1984 Winter Games and 2004 Summer Games respectively. This influenced the results, as well as the selection of future candidates of the succeeding Olympics. In this regard, Beijing has the edge. However, the Beijing 2022 delegation have made it known that the Chinese capital will host the ice events, while the snow-based competitions will be held in Zhangjiakou in Heibei Province. (Zhangjiakou is about 200 kilometers northwest of Beijing.) Not that Almaty didn't stand a chance from the very beginning. Kazakhstan's natural resources makes it one of the largest economies in Central Asia. A high-profile event like the Olympics can help the government in luring investors. Furthermore, Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games. But this is the first time they bid to host the Olympics.

It would be understandable if the Almaty 2022 delegates were disheartened. They only need to look at Madrid's failed bid to host the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Games. (OIC voted London, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo respectively.) Ana Botella, the mayor of Madrid, announced that Madrid won't bid for the 2024 Games. However, the new infrastructure (for the 2020 Games) would be completed soon.

Which cities will vie for the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad?

The 130th OIC session will be held in Lima in 2017. The members will choose which city will host the 2024 Summer Olympics. It's two years away, but there have been lots of happenings.

Rome and Paris lead the long list of candidates. The Italian capital, host of the 1960 Summer Olympics, was supposed to vie for the 2020 Games, but the Italian government had a change of mind. Paris, on the other hand, will attempt to become the second city to host the Summer Games three times. The French delegates have unsuccessful bids for the 1992, 2008, and 2012 Games. (OIC awarded the Games to Barcelona, Beijing, and London respectively.) Jean-Francois Lampur, former Minister of Sports, believed that Paris would get lucky on its fourth try. It will be 100 years since Paris last hosted the event. There are plans to build new venues around the capital, which will increase its chances. Furthermore, the French Sailing Federation decided that the sailing competition will be held in Le Havre, Brest, or Marseille.

Hamburg and Budapest also announced their interest. The major port city in northern Germany is considered the sports capital, the venue of multiple cycling and football tournaments. The Hungarian capital, on the other hand, has been the home of many professional football teams. Let's not forget that Hungary is a force in water polo. Both cities haven't bid before, but this doesn't deter them. They only have to look at the Turkish delegates, who are dreaming of hosting the Games. Istanbul was a candidate for the 2000, 2008, and 2020 Games. It also bid for the 2004 and 2012 Olympiad, but failed to make it to the final round of voting. Hasan Aran, head of the 2020 Istanbul Olympic bid, believes that Turkey's largest metropolis will eventually host the Summer Games. The European Olympic Committee is considering Istanbul to host the 2019 European Games, and this might increase Turkey's chances. Amsterdam was awarded the rights to host the event, but it backed out.

The United States Olympic Committee (U.S.O.C) withdrew Boston's bid, citing the city's failure to deliver its promises. The U.S.O.C. is currently looking at Los Angeles, host of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games. San Francisco and Washington, D.C. were included in the shortlist. Expect the U.S.O.C. to make their decision early next year.

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