Right Field

Who Should Host the 2022 Winter Olympics?

As of today, there are four cities left in the bidding process: Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Lviv (Ukraine), and Beijing/ Zhangjiakou (China).

USA Today sums it up:

Lviv’s candidacy has been in limbo amid the political crisis in Ukraine. It’s unclear whether Sunday’s election of billionaire Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president will allow the bid to go forward or not.

Oslo, which hosted the 1952 Winter Games, has faced large-scale public opposition to the bid and has yet to secure government financial backing. One of the two parties in the coalition government came out against the bid earlier this month.

IOC President Thomas Bach visited Norway last week and sought to shore up support for the Olympics, but no final decision from the government is expected until the autumn.

Almaty and Beijing are the only two bids that have avoided turmoil. Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, is seeking to become the first city to stage both summer and winter games. Almaty, bidding for a second time, is the commercial capital of the oil-rich former Soviet republic in central Asia.

Deadspin has more on what looks to be a dying bid in Oslo:

The Oslo, Norway, bid is falling apart. It was supported by a razor-thin margin in a September referendum, but public opposition has only grown since then. And on Sunday, the junior member of the government coalition voted against funding any Olympics. For them to go on, it would require an unprecedented alliance between the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.

Ukraine’s bid, for obvious reasons, is probably a non-starter, too.

This leaves Bejing/Zhangjiakou, China or Almaty, Kazakhstan. Is anyone excited about either of those cities? Does either country deserve an Olympics? 

A few weeks ago, I suggested that cities that win bids for the Olympics should get the games for two cycles. This would help cities justify the enormous costs associated with the Games and thus expand the number of cities that bid.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in PyeongChang, South Korea. And they’re the best choice for 2022, too. 

 

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