Six cities have submitted bids to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games—twice the number that joined the process for the 2018 event. Cities that submitted bids for 2022 are: Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine), Oslo (Norway), and Stockholm (Sweden).

International Olympic Committee officials expressed optimism in the strength of the field, which includes a mix of traditional and developing winter sports markets. “I am delighted that six cities are bidding to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “These cities and their supporters clearly understand the benefits that hosting the Games can have and the long lasting legacy that a Games can bring to a region. Indeed, while recent Games have left an array of sporting, social, economic and other legacies for the local population, many cities that did not go on to win the right to host the Games have also noted benefits as a result of their bids.”

The six applicant cities will be invited to attend a seminar in Lausanne, Switzerland, from December 4–6 to participate in an observer program tailored to their needs during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

National Olympic Committees had until November 14 to submit an application to the IOC that complied with prerequisite criteria (declarations concerning the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport) established by the IOC Executive Board in 2010. The six applicant cities will now enter Phase 1 of a two-step technical analysis. The list will be narrowed to a smaller list of candidate cities in July 2014, and the IOC will select a host city at a session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31, 2015.