Beijing, China has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in a vote over Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, and becomes the first city to host both Summer and Winter Games. China’s representative city defeated Kazakhstan’s by a 44-40 vote.
“Just as with the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, the Olympic family has put its faith in Beijing again to deliver the athlete-centred, sustainable and economical Games we have promised,” Beijing Olympic officials said in a statement. “This will be a memorable event at the foot of the Great Wall for the whole Olympic family, the athletes and the spectators that will further enhance the tremendous potential to grow winter sports in our country, in Asia and around the world.”
Both Almaty and Beijing made a final pitch to the International Olympic Committee on Friday morning. Almaty representatives emphasized their more winter-friendly location and compacted clustering of event venues. Beijing, which sits at approximately the same latitude as Baltimore, Maryland, will need to supplement its natural snow with the man-made variety. Beijing’s venues will be spread over a 100-mile area, with the Bird’s Nest stadium serving as home for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The Beijing Games will mark the third straight Olympics in Asia, following the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea and the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Six cities had participated in the initial bidding for 2022, but four dropped out over the course of the process. Beijing pointed to its successful 2008 Games as rationale for its viability as a host once again, but the $43 billion cost of those Games helped spur a movement toward ever-more-extravagant and expensive Olympics costs.