POSTED: July 7th 2014

Olympics: Almaty, Beijing and Oslo all three make the cut as 2022 winter candidate cities

(L to R) Amanzholova Zauresh, vice-mayor of Almaty City representing Almaty 2022, Yang Xiaochao, vice-chairman of Beijing 2022, and Eli Grimsby, CEO of the candidate city of Oslo 2022 / SFC
(L to R) Amanzholova Zauresh, vice-mayor of Almaty City representing Almaty 2022, Yang Xiaochao, vice-chairman of Beijing 2022, and Eli Grimsby, CEO of the candidate city of Oslo 2022 / SFC

IOC President Thomas Bach making the announcement / IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach making the announcement / IOC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) As expected the Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) finalized the three candidate cities for the next phase of the 2022 Winter Olympics bid campaign.

IOC President Thomas Bach addressed all three cities Oslo, Almaty and Beijing and the press to confirm the next phase of the bidding campaigns.

This time the IOC is encouraging the three cities to focus on their own unique legacy and they put out a statement going into detail:

- Oslo is focusing its bid on youth and building on the great legacy of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer 1994. It hopes to inspire the population to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle.

- Almaty’s legacy plans centre on providing the conditions to enable the city to become a sports, tourism and convention hub in Central Asia.

- Beijing is seeking to provide an extended legacy for venues built for the Olympic Games 2008. It wants to create a winter sports centre for China and use the Winter Games to act as a catalyst for the further development of the tourism and winter sports industry.

Bach said, “The Executive Board was impressed by the legacy plans of each of the three cities, and will continue to support any future candidate or host city in developing them further.

“This support will be practical, involving the detailed transfer of knowledge as well as financial. In this respect it was good to see that each of the bidding cities understood the difference between the Olympic Games budget and the long-term infrastructure and investment budget, which will benefit their communities for decades to come.”

“The Executive Board is confident that the future hosts of the Olympic Winter Games can break even with the Olympic Games budget – as Vancouver has just announced for the Olympic Winter Games 2010. Or, as in the case of Sochi, make a considerable profit, which they project to be in the range of 200 million dollars.

“This is possible not least because of the extensive financial assistance given by the IOC. In the case of Sochi, this amounted to USD 750 million and it is likely that figure will be even higher for the host of the Olympic Winter Games 2022,” he added.

Andrey Kryukov, NOC Executive Board member, spoke on behalf of Almaty 2022 and said, “For us this is a big victory as this makes the third time we are in the applicancy phase, but this is the first time we make the candidacy phase. This is very important.

Almaty is the least known of the three from a tourism stand point of view and Kryukov noted, “This is a big challenge for us because we are not such a big capitol with lots of history. We are a modern country and just 23 years on this field as an independent country, but we will try very hard.”

“Almaty is the best city in Kazakhstan for this event and we will do everything to show our city’s best side,” he concluded.

Norwegian ski legend and Olympian, Bjorn Daehlie, was in Lausanne with the Oslo 2022 delegation, and he talked about the domestic situation and how the bid is working towards gaining critical political backing.

“At the end of the line Norwegians love winter sport and the big [political] parties are having lively discussions and they are really healthy talks," he said. "It really is good that IOC President Thomas Bach came to visit Norway as he was really open and talked about issues that Norway didn’t know anything about. Like how the IOC is financing international sport.”

Recently Oslo 2022 released information that the percentage of positive public opinion in the youth was on the rise.

Yang Xiaochao, vice-president of the Beijing 2022 bid and vice-Mayor of Beijing, explained to the press that having a third edition of the Olympics in Asia is not necessarily a bad idea.

Xiaochao said, “In 2008 we had a successful Beijing Olympic Games and there is a huge Olympic legacy left for Beijing city. So if we host the winter Games in 2022 we only need to build one new venue in Beijing for ice sports.  

“This in itself is already a very good way to carry on the Olympic legacy. The Chinese government has also promoted China Games’ concept so if we host the winter Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022 this will greatly improve the physical condition of the Chinese people and their participation in winter sports.”

The three cities must all now put together their final bid books and submit by January 7th of next year and here below is a time line of the important dates up to the final vote on July 31st in 2015.

Key Dates in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games Campaign:

Phase 2:

- Submission of the Candidature File and Guarantees – 7 January 2015

- IOC Evaluation Commission visits – February to March 2015

- Evaluation Commission report / Candidate City Briefing for IOC Members – May to June 2015 (TBC)

- Election of the 2022 host city by the IOC Session – Kuala Lumpur – 31 July 2015

Keywords · Olympics · IOC · Thomas Bach · winter Games

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