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  • "Uninspiring" Host Choice for 2022 Olympics -- Media Watch


    (ATR) Time writer Hannah Beech says, "The final choice for the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics was uninspiring."

    Residents of Beijing watch as IOC chief Thomas Bach announces the 2022 Olympic host (Getty Images)
    Beech highlights respective weaknesses in both bids for the 2022 Winter Games and weaknesses shared by Almaty and Beijing.

    "Neither has much in the way of global winter wonderland appeal, and both are tainted by the authoritarian governments that lead them."

    Beijing is at least a known quantity, Beech says.

    "Even if co-host Zhangjiakou is less recognized (Zhangjiakou progressively lost shared billing with the Chinese capital as the bid progressed)."

    National Public Radio correspondent Tom Goldman weighs in on the IOC's decision to elect Beijing as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

    The China capital will become the first city to host both winter and summer games.

    Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The result of voting at the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur on the 2022 Olympic host was 44 to 40.

    China's English news source Xinhua says members of Beijing 2022 are ecstatic over the election. Writer Ma Bangjie spoke with Ren Honguo, the chief official in charge of Chinese winter competitive sports, after IOC president Thomas Bach announced the results.

    "I can do nothing to contain myself," Ren told Xinhua. "Though almost one hour has passed, the news has yet to sink in, I still can do nothing to hold back the excitement which is still churning inside me."

    Members of Beijing 2022 and NBA basketball star Yao Ming (third from right) pose for a photo with Bach (Getty Images)
    He added, "About 300 million people are expected to benefit from the 2022 Winter Olympics. This awards us a great opportunity to promote winter sports among them.

    "It will be a marvelous project, an everlasting legacy. It will be an unprecedented feat pulled off by China and IOC."

    The Wall Street Journal's Charles Hutzler features the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics "at a glance," breaking down the information provided by state media and the Beijing 2022 bid book.

    "In order to meet the IOC’s goal of a more affordable games, Beijing is reusing or converting six venues from 2008 and building six new ones, all but one of them in the far suburbs of Yanqing or at Zhangjiakou, where the skiing and sledding events will be held," Hutzler says.

    "The combined operating and capital budget for the games is a projected $3.9 billion, compared with $4.6 billion in 2008."

    CNN reporter Ingrid Piper compares the bid race for the 2022 Winter Olympics to the battle of David and Goliath. 

    Delegation from Beijing celebrates at the 128th IOC Session (Getty Images)
    "With significant oil and gas reserves, it is now the largest economy in Central Asia and had been keen to use this event to increase investment, development and raise its profile.

    "But Beijing has already proved its worth as a successful Olympic host. Its pitch was about being a safe choice and a top tourism destination with the infrastructure to handle large events."

    USA Today's Nate Scott says that unless something changes, Beijing will be the only city that wants host the Olympics.

    "It will be China's second time hosting the Olympics in a span of 14 years. In that span, the United States will not have hosted one.

    "This makes sense, because it doesn't make any sense to host the Olympics right now."

    Lausanne Elected as 2020 Winter YOG Host

    Also on Friday, the IOC chose Lausanne, Switzerland to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games over opponent Brasov, Romania.

    The Olympic capital overwhelmed Brasov, winning 71 votes to 10.

    Lasuanne 2020 delegates react to a landslide victory over Brasov for the rights host the 2020 Winter YOG (Getty Images)
    Swissinfo, a ten-language news platform produced by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, spoke with Bach after the announcement who said the timing of the election is kismet.

    "This year, we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the IOC's presence in Lausanne." writer Brian Trusdell features "five things to know" about Lausanne in the lead up to the 2020 Winter YOG.

    "The decision returns an Olympic competition to Switzerland for the first time since 1948, when St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games," Trusdell says. "It also hosted the Winter Games in 1928."

    Lillehammer, Norway is hosting the 2016 edition of the Winter YOG. The games open on Feb. 12.

    Compiled by Nicole Bennett

    Homepage photo: Getty Images

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