Beijing, China, has been awarded the rights to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, beating Almaty, Kazakhstan, by four votes in a tightly fought contest. When it hosts, Beijing will become the first city to have hosted both the winter and summer Games.
The International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the games on a 44-40 vote at a session held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Beijing’s proposed budget for the Olympic villages, sports venues and other infrastructure totals $1.5 billion in a design that will use some of the venues from the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. The bid called for three clusters of events, including a downtown cluster that would feature venues such as the Bird’s Nest that served as the venue for track and field, and the opening and closing ceremonies in 2008. The Yanqing zone, about 40 miles from Beijing, will host alpine and sliding events. The Zhangjiakou region at the foot of the Great Wall of China, an area about 90 miles from Beijing, will host snowboarding, freestyle skiing, cross-country, ski jumping, Nordic and biathlon events. All zones will be connected by a planned high-speed bullet train.
In a statement, the Beijing bid committee congratulated Almaty for its effort and said it was looking forward to hosting the Games. “We are honored 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-centered, 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.”
In addition, the IOC awarded Lausanne, Switzerland, the rights to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Lausanne beat out a bid from Brasov, Romania, on a 71-10 vote. More than 1,000 athletes ranging in age from 15 to 18 are expected to compete at the event.