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Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympic Games
August 1, 2015

Beijing has won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, becoming the first city to host both a summer and winter Games.

Beijing defeated its rival Almaty in Kazakhstan by 44 votes to 40, as International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates voted on the hosting of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic events in a secret ballot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

China's success came after its President, Xi Jinping, made a last-minute vow to lay on a “fantastic, extraordinary and excellent” event.

President Xi threw his weight behind China’s bid, promising the “strongest support” for the Beijing Games in a one-minute video address to the IOC delegates.

In addition, Beijing’s Mayor, Wang Anshun, vowed to deliver “Games that are joyful and harmonious, Games that are safe and reliable.”

The 2022 Beijing Winter Games will be split between three Olympic sites: one in the city of Zhangjiakou, 125 miles from Beijing in the Hebei province, another in Yanqing, a mountainous region to Beijing’s north-west, and a third in the capital.

A key component of Beijing’s winning bid was its pledge to tackle the toxic air pollution that often enshrouds the city.

Mayor Want told IOC delegates that huge steps had been taken since his city hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, with one million high-emissions vehicles forced from its roads.

He stated “all our efforts are moving Beijing towards a clean energy future.”

Chinese officials have also dismissed concerns over a dearth of natural snowfall in the region around Beijing. Almaty’s campaign slogan – ‘Keeping it real’ – was a not-so-subtle swipe at China’s promise to compensate with artificial snow.

A promotional video for Almaty 2022 boasted”real snow, real winter ambience, real winter Games.”

However, Chinese Olympic Committee President Liu Peng dismissed Kazakhstan’s claims, stating “ski resorts have been operating in Zhangjiakou for decades (while) Beijing 2022 will build on its existing snow-making capability to supplement natural snow fall.”

Chinese sport officials have said they hope the Beijing Winter Olympics will ignite “a winter sports passion” that will help create a $1 billion industry in China by 2025.

Liu added “winter sports fever is sweeping our nation,” stating that more than one million Chinese teenagers were now ice skating regularly, and continuing “20 years ago China had less than 10 ski resorts. We now have more than 500.”

Following Beijing’s winning bid, Beijing’s bid committee released a statement that read “we are honoured and humbled by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award Beijing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“It is with an incredible sense of excitement that we express our thanks to the IOC and the wider Olympic movement. 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.

“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.”

The IOC meeting was also confirmed the Swiss city of Lausanne as the home of the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games.




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