China wins historic vote to host 2022 Olympics
31 July 2015
IOC: Beijing will be the only city to host the summer and winter Olympic Games after being awarded the 2022 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee.
At the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur the members voted for Beijing ahead of Almaty in Kazakhstan. It was a tight contest with members voting 44-40 in favour of Beijing.
In their final pitch to the IOC, Beijing, who hosted the summer Games in 2008, declared “you trusted us then and we delivered and hope you will trust us again”.
Officials argued they had a surge in sport participation following 08 and expect the same result in 2022.
“Winter sport fever is sweeping the nation, the country has 500 ski resorts”.
The basketball superstar, Yao Ming, was part of the presentation team and featured on a video playing ice hockey with young children in China.
Beijing appeared to be at a disadvantage against Almaty because of a lack of snow and the long distances needed to travel between venues. To counter that problem the Chinese plan to build a high speed train to carry fans to the events.
“We promise an end to end transport experience and a safe and reliable Games”.
The IOC members voted for what many felt was the safe option.
Almaty is an unknown quantity. Very few IOC members have been there. They insisted they were not a risky choice but instead presented a golden opportunity to the IOC members to select a region that has never hosted the Olympic Games.
Almaty has abundant natural snow. 70% of their venues already exist and are in a 30km radius of the Olympic Village.
However this was not enough to sway the IOC members and Beijing triumphed.
MIKE TANCRED - in Kuala Lumpur