PtG Article 18.03.2014

Five cities bid to host the Winter Games 2022

When the deadline for submitting bids for hosting the 2022 Winter Games closed this weekend, the cities of Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine) and Oslo (Norway) had all submitted their official host applications.

The newly passed deadline marks an important step in what the IOC calls ‘Phase one’ in the bidding procedure. This first phase concludes in July this year, when the IOC executive committee will decide which of the five applicant cities will be official Candidate Cities for 2022 Winter Games hosts and enter Phase two of the IOC selection programme.

According to Olympic news service Around the Rings (ATR), the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan seems to lead the race slightly for now. ATR uses an ‘Olympic Bid Power Index’ to determine the power balance between applicant cities according to which Almaty scores 64 points out of 100, whereas Oslo and Beijing comes in second and third scoring 61 and 57 respectively in the first edition of the index for the 2022 bids.

The Power Index is based on 11 different categories such as infrastructure, governmental and public support and security. The Almaty bid scores high on location being the only of the five cities with mountains near the city border and the Kazakh city already has some venues in place from the Asian Winter Games in 2011, which it co-hosted. Almaty is furthermore set to host the Winter Universiade 2017.

Oslo in Norway is a veteran in hosting Olympic sports events. Oslo hosted the Olympic Winter Games back in 1952 and is going to organise the 2016 Youth Olympics Winter edition. The Norwegian bid still lacks the government’s support and it is unclear when the final decision on whether to go for the bid or not is due.

The Beijing bid also has some experience as hosts, but with less success than Norway. The Chinese capital also faces logistical challenges as for transportation between venues.

According to ATR, the national priority behind the Ukrainian bid from Lviv is uncertain with the country currently going through major political changes.

Last in the bidding index is Krakow, Poland, a city that will “need substantial work on venues, hotels and other infrastructure,” writes ATR.

The final decision on which city will host the 2022 Winter Games will be up for vote during the IOC session taking place in Kuala Lumpur in July 2015.