By David Heim
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Friday that Beijing has won the rights to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, marking the second time Beijing will have the honors.
Beijing defeated Kazakhstan (sorry Borat) by a close margin of 44-40, despite the city’s lack of natural snow.
“Hosting the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing will encourage 300 million Chinese, particularly the country’s young people, to participate in ice and snow sports,” Vice Premier Liu Yandong said.
Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun called China’s winter, “spectacular.” “More than half of our country experiences temperatures below freezing,” he added.
The city of Beijing plans to use most of the existing venues from the 2008 Summer Games, including the “Bird’s Nest” stadium and “Water Cube” arena. The snow events are slated to be held in Yangqing and Zhangjiakou, which are 40 and 90 miles, respectively, outside Beijing. Beijing plans to introduce a rail line to Zhangjiakou to cut travel times down.
The IOC claims northern China as a safe choice to host the games that offers resources and a population of over 300 million people.