Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee announced this morning. This decision makes Beijing the first city to host the Summer and Winter Olympics. The city played host for the Summer Olympics in 2008.
Beijing defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan, to host the Games by a vote of 44 to 40. Oslo and Stockholm had previously been in the running, as well, but dropped out of bidding, citing political and financial reasons.
Almaty organizers wanted to persuade the IOC to give developing countries the opportunity to host the Olympic Games. The province had already built several venues in case they won the bidding after hosting the Asian Winter Games in 2011.
“Almaty is not a risky choice for 2022,” Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov told the IOC delegates. “In fact, we are quite the opposite. ... We are a golden opportunity to prove that smaller, advancing nations can successfully host the Winter Games.”
Beijing will utilize several iconic venues that were used during the 2008 Summer Games, including the "Bird's Nest" stadium and "Water Cube" arena. The mountain events will be held at venues in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.
Beijing's proposed budget for investment in Olympic villages, sports venues and other infrastructure for the Games is $1.5 billion, significantly less than previous Olympics. For instance, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, cost the country approximately $51 billion.
The next Winter Olympics will take place in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.