Beijing is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, beating Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic events to Beijing on Friday afternoon, after a secret ballot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Chinese capital becomes the first city in history to host both Winter and Summer Olympics, after it hosted the summer games in 2008. Before the decision was made, China’s president Xi Jinping had made a one-minute video address to the IOC delegates, pledging the “strongest support” for the Beijing Games.
Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov also addressed the IOC, urging them to be “brave” – but it seemed not to be enough for the former USSR republic that became independent in 1991.
When the race to host the 2022 Winter Olympics started in 2013, Oslo and Stockholm were the leading contenders, but they pulled out of the competition for various reasons, AP reported.
The IOC made absolutely the right choice entrusting the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing, in the light of China’s experience of conduct events on such a scale, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in response to the news.