Three cities vie for 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Beijing, Oslo and Almaty will contest the race to win the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the Lausanne-based International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday.

Three cities vie for 2022 Winter Olympic Games
View of Almaty, one of three cities vying for 2022 Winter Olympics. Photo: FixerKZ/Wikimedia Commons

The three cities, which in IOC-speak were granted formal candidate status, were the only remaining bidders in the race after the Swedish capital Stockholm, Krakow in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine pulled out.
The IOC's president, Thomas Bach, told reporters that a meeting of the Olympic body's executive committee had "extensively discussed" the bids of Beijing, Oslo and Almaty during a session on Monday.
"These three candidates have totally different approaches in terms of heritage, budget, infrastructure, but all impressed us," he said at the IOC's headquarters overlooking Lake Geneva.
The winner will be announced on July 31st 2015 at an IOC congress in Kuala Lumpur.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, while the 2014 edition was held in the Russian resort of Sochi.
Bach underlined that the IOC does not have a one-size-fits-all approach to the Olympics.
"The cities are encouraged to produce bids that are best suited to their circumstances," he said.

"The plans should reflect their own specific vision for how the Olympic Games can benefit their cities and regions to ensure positive, sustainable legacies for their populations," Bach said.

"Oslo, Almaty and Beijing have addressed this."
The IOC said that Norwegian capital Oslo's bid centres on youth and aims to build on the highly-regarded legacy of the 1994 Winter Olympics in the town of Lillehammer, as well as seeking to encourage people to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Kazakhstan's former capital Almaty, which remains the former Soviet republic's economic powerhouse, meanwhile aims to use the Olympics to transform itself into a sports, tourism and convention hub in Central Asia.
If Beijing were to win the bidding race, the Chinese capital would make history as the first city to hold both the summer and winter games, having hosted the 2008 Olympics.
The German city of Munich —  which hosted the 1972 Olympics — had aimed to claim that crown in 2018 but lost out to Pyeongchang.
The IOC said that Beijing wanted to build on the legacy of 2008, using venues built for those games and also create a winter sports centre for China, providing a springboard for the development of new tourism opportunities.

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Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban

Forty-seven Russians implicated in doping lost a last-minute court bid to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Friday, just hours before the opening ceremony.

Russian athletes lose appeal over Olympics ban
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
The applicants, who included Korean-born speed skater Victor An, had asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn an International Olympic Committee decision not to invite them to Pyeongchang.
“The applications filed by Russian athletes and coaches have been dismissed,” the CAS said in a statement.
The Russian situation has proved highly contentious in the build-up to Pyeongchang, after their team was banned but a certain number of “clean” Russian athletes were allowed to take part as neutrals.
Fifteen of those who lost their bids on Friday were among a group of 28 who controversially had life bans from the Olympics overturned last week by CAS, which cited insufficient evidence.
The other 32, including An, biathlon gold medallist Anton Shipulin and Sergei Ustyugov, a cross-country skiing world champion, were omitted from the list of Russians invited to Pyeongchang.
“In its decisions, the CAS arbitrators have considered that the process created by the IOC to establish an invitation list of Russian athletes to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) could not be described as a sanction but rather as an eligibility decision,” CAS said.
However, the CAS decision may not be the end of the matter. A source close to the IOC has told AFP that the 47 Russians have also lodged a case with a Swiss civil court in Lausanne.
A spokesman for the neutral Russian team, the 'Olympic Athletes from Russia', declined to comment when approached by AFP.