Beijing to host 2022 Winter Olympics

Posted Jul 31, 2015 by Michael Thomas
Beijing was officially declared the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, narrowly beating Almaty, Kazakhstan by just four votes.
Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies
A shot from the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing, China
Photo courtesy Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
The voting process didn't go as smoothly as it could have, however, CTV reports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) first held the 2022 vote with electronic devices resembling tablets. The process should have only taken 10 minutes, but a glitch forced the 85 IOC voters to switch to paper. The paper vote took twice as long as the electronic vote.
Finally, the results were in — 44-40 for Beijing, with one abstention.
USA Today reported big celebrations in China after hearing of the winning bid. People dressed in either brightly coloured tracksuits or traditional garb and cheered and danced.
The 2022 Winter Olympic bid has unfortunately been known more for countries dropping out of the race. After the extravagant cost of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, money became a worry, and many cities dropped their bids. Krakow, Stockholm and Munich are just some of the cities that decided not to host.
Beijing now faces a few hurdles as it prepares for the 2022 competition. Its alpine skiing events will have to be played on artificial snow, and some venues — like the Olympic village — will be at least 160 kilometres from Beijing itself.
Almaty campaigned for the games with the slogan "Keeping it real," which was largely seen as a dig at Beijing. It already has a number of Olympics-ready venues built.
Some Chinese social media users also wondered why the games had to take place in Beijing, when there is bigger winter-sports interest in China's northeast, like Harbin.
Still, those excited about the games hope it will inspire more Chinese people to take up winter sports. There are reportedly about 20 million skiers in China, a number that could potentially grow given China's population of more than 1.3 billion people.