By STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports activities Author
BEIJING (AP) — No one views Beijing as a winter sports activities capital. So why is the sprawling metropolis — famed internationally for roast duck, maze-like “hutong” courtyard neighborhoods and its battle with air air pollution — holding the Winter Olympics? These Video games come simply 13 1/2 years after the extravagant 2008 Summer time Video games.
And why are the Winter Olympics based mostly in such an city panorama?
There is a easy reply. Potential hosts in Europe — as many as six together with favorites like Norway and Sweden — dropped out of the bidding within the wake of the doping-scandal-ridden 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The $51 billion price ticket for Sochi additionally frightened future bidders.
When the IOC voted in 2015 on a bunch for 2022, the one remaining candidates had been Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The IOC narrowly picked Beijing in a 44-40 vote.
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WHY ARE THE WINTER OLYMPICS A DIFFICULT SELL?
It comes all the way down to cash. Smaller nations in Europe will not foot the invoice, and taxpayers even have a say in lots of Western democracies.
St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Munich, Germany — two areas with probably sturdy bids for 2022 — had been rejected by the general public in voter referendums. The German rejection was a stinging blow to Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, who’s from Germany.
It’s additionally notable that the IOC headquarters are in Switzerland.
Krakow, Poland, and Lviv, Ukraine, additionally withdrew bids. However the ones that harm had been Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden, which pulled out due to prices or politics. In Norway, a lawmaker was angered through the bid course of by reported calls for from the IOC to incorporate a cocktail reception with the King of Norway as a part of Video games protocol.
Bach acknowledged in a 2014 interview that the Winter Olympics had been a troublesome promote.
“The variety of candidates for winter is already very restricted by geography,” he mentioned. “Additionally we will’t overlook that it is a difficult time with regard to the world economic system.”
WHERE DO THE WINTER GAMES GO NEXT?
The 2026 Winter Olympics have been awarded to Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The IOC is thrilled to be returning to a standard European winter venue after the final three winter Video games in Sochi, Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Beijing.
The 2030 Winter Video games haven’t but been awarded. However Barcelona, one other city, former Summer time Video games host, is being thought of. The snow portion would happen within the Pyrenees. The bid is prone to have sturdy help on the IOC, the place Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. is an influential member and a local of Barcelona. His father was a longtime IOC president.
The opposite high 2030 candidate might be Sapporo, Japan, which held the Winter Video games in 1972. The IOC owes Japan a favor after it pulled off the 2020 Summer time Olympics regardless of a one-year delay from the pandemic. The delay in all probability value Japan an added $2 billion.
HOW ARE HOST CITIES CHOSEN?
Beneath the IOC’s new course of of selecting venues, the roughly 100 IOC members now not vote on the host cities. The selection is now made by the management headed by Bach.
The transfer was compelled partly by vote-buying scandals that dirty the number of Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and Tokyo for 2020.
Bach mentioned on the time that the bid course of produced too many “losers” with cities spending tens of millions on failed bids. In actuality, Bach needed management of the place the Video games go because the IOC now tries to emphasise cities that have already got venues and lodges in place. This typically means city areas — or former host cities. Which factors again to Beijing, too.
Extra AP Winter Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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