Beijing has been selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, beating out Almaty, Kazakhstan, by a 44 to 40 vote. It will be the first city to host both a summer and winter Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Beijing was awarded the Games because it aligned with the IOC’s goal to bring a “stronger focus on sustainability, legacy, and transparency” to the event.
“Beijing aims to use the Games to accelerate the development of a new sport, culture and tourism area, and to encourage interest in winter sports in a region that is home to more than 300 million people in northern China,” the IOC said in a statement.
The Games will be divided into three zones, with light rail connecting two of them. New venues for the skiing and snowboarding events will be built in an existing winter sports region of China, the Yanqing Zone, located approximately 55 miles northwest of the Beijing Olympic Green. The area has a peak elevation of about 7,100 feet. See the mountain pictured below where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place. The average snow depth at this mountain is about 2″. These pictures were taken last January (yes, in the middle of winter).
The Zhangjiakou Zone, approximately 100 miles from Beijing, will host the Nordic combined, ski jumping, biathlon, cross country skiing, and freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.
Beijing was considered a favorite in the final bidding because of the existing infrastructure from hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics. Several European cities withdrew their bids during the process, citing political or financial issues. Officials from Beijing have said they are confident they can break even or make a profit. The IOC will contribute $880 million to support the event.