LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee on Monday named Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (China) as Candidate Cities for the second part of the bidding process for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
The other two applicants, Krakow (Poland) and Lviv (Ukraine), decided not to continue their applications.
Each city was encouraged to produce a bid best suited to their own unique circumstances, with plans that reflect their own specific vision for how the Games can benefit their cities and regions and ensure positive, sustainable legacies for their populations. Oslo, Almaty and Beijing have done that.
Oslo is focusing its bid on youth and building on the great legacy of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer 1994 where most snow sports would be organized. It hopes to inspire the population to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Ice hockey is planned in Oslo in a new 10,000-seat arena in the Stubberud district and a new 6,000-seat arena next to the classic Jordal Amfi rink from the 1952 Olympics that would become the country’s major modern ice hockey arena.
Almaty’s legacy plans centre on providing the conditions to enable the city to become a sports, tourism and convention hub in Central Asia. Ice hockey in the former capital of Kazakhstan would be played in the 12,000-seat Almaty Ice Palace that will be built for the 2017 Winter Universiade, and in the existing 5,000-seat Baluan Sholak Sports Palace that was known as Palace of Sports before an extensive renovation prior to the 2011 Asian Winter Games.
Beijing is seeking to provide an extended legacy for venues built for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It wants to create a winter sports centre for China and use the Winter Games to act as a catalyst for the further development of the tourism and winter sports industry. Both venues planned for ice hockey were built for the 2008 Olympics and offer 18,000 seats. The Wukesong Culture & Sports Center 18 kilometres away from the Olympic Village in the Haidian district hosted basketball games, the Beijing National Indoor Stadium close to the Olympic Village gymnastic and handball events.
“The Executive Board was impressed by the legacy plans of each of the three cities, and will continue to support any future candidate or host city in developing them further,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “This support will be practical, involving the detailed transfer of knowledge as well as financial. In this respect it was good to see that each of the bidding cities understood the difference between the Olympic Games budget and the long-term infrastructure and investment budget, which will benefit their communities for decades to come,” he added.
The host for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be elected on 31 July 2015 during the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
– with files from the International Olympic Committee