Beijing Selected To Host 2022 Winter Olympics Over Almaty, Kazakhstan

The Olympic Games are headed back to Beijing.

The International Olympic Committee voted to award the 2022 Winter Olympics to the Chinese capital Friday morning. Beijing will become the first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Games after the Summer Olympics were held there in 2008.

Beijing came in as a heavy favorite over Almaty, Kazakhstan, but only defeated the city by a 44-40 vote, with one abstaining. Olso, Munich and Stockholm also were in the initial running but backed out earlier in the process.

“Just as with the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, the Olympic Family has put its faith in Beijing again,” the Olympic bid committee said in statement, via ESPN. “This will be a memorable event at the foot of the Great Wall … that will further enhance the tremendous potential to grow winter sports in our country, in Asia and around the world.”

There will be some logistical issues hosting a Winter Games in a region that hardly receives any natural snow, but Beijing was seen as a safer, more reliable option than Almaty.

“They chose certainty in Beijing,” IOC vice president Craig Reedie said. “But I don’t think anybody would have believed that the result would have been that close.”

Kazakhstan and the Central Asia region never have hosted an Olympic Games, but Almaty bid vice chairman Andrey Kryukov said after the vote his city would consider bidding again.

Next on the docket for the IOC is choosing the host for the 2024 Summer Games, which they’ll do in September 2017. It remains to be seen whether the United States will have a bid, as the U.S. Olympic Committee recently pulled its support for Boston as its host city.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@mamireault

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