Three Cities That Didn't Drop Out All Named 2022 Olympic Host Finalists

Three Cities That Didn't Drop Out All Named 2022 Olympic Host Finalists

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be held in either Oslo, Norway, Beijing, China, or Almaty, Kazakhstan. Trimming the list of potential host cities to three finalists was easy enough for the IOC, because the other five all decided they don't want the Olympics. (And Oslo is expected to drop out within a couple of months.)

Things are bad, bad, bad for the IOC, which is only now realizing what once-eager bid cities figured out months and years ago—the Olympics, with ever-increasing costs and a trail of white elephants in their wake, are a bad return on an investment.

"That's the lesson from this campaign here — we lost good cities because of the bad perception of the IOC, the bad perception of how the concept could be done," IOC executive director Gilbert Felli said. "We have to learn our lesson. The one to be blamed is the IOC."

Voters in Munich, Krakow, and Davos/St. Moritz have rejected Olympic bids in referendums, while politicians in Stockholm refused to fund the games. Lviv, Ukraine, dropped out last week, given the mess that country is in. The Oslo bid will be decided this fall, when Norwegian politicians vote on funding it—though recent opinion polls show 36 percent of citizens are against it.

Below, our story from May on just how hard it is these days to convince a city to take the Olympics.

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Original post by Barry Petchesky on Deadspin

Nobody Wants To Host The 2022 Olympics

Nobody Wants To Host The 2022 Olympics

The next Olympics to be awarded, a little more than a year from now, will be the 2022 Winter Games. Rather than going to the strongest bid, the games may end up going to the last city standing—a long list of potential hosts have given up on their Olympic dreams because the whole thing is one huge, useless waste of money.

Yesterday, Krakow, Poland, officially withdrew its bid for the games, a day after a citywide referendum where 70 percent of voters came out against hosting the Olympics. "Krakow is closing its efforts to be the host of the 2022 Winter Games due to the low support for the idea among the residents," said mayor Jacek Majchrowski.

In January, another of the six original finalists pulled out, when Stockholm, Sweden's ruling political party declined to fund the games. They cited the pointlessness of paying hundreds of millions for facilities that would be used for two weeks and then rarely again, a story common to almost all Olympic hosts. "Arranging a Winter Olympics would mean a big investment in new sports facilities, for example for the bobsleigh and luge," the Moderate party said in a statement. "There isn't any need for that type of that kind of facility after an Olympics."

In November, voters in Munich, Germany, rejected a proposed Olympic bid. "The vote is not a signal against the sport," said one lawmaker, "but against the non-transparency and the greed for profit of the IOC."

Last March, a joint bid from Davos/St. Moritz, Switzerland, fell apart after being rejected by a public referendum.

Of the four remaining finalists, two are in rough shape. The Oslo, Norway, bid is falling apart. It was supported by a razor-thin margin in a September referendum, but public opposition has only grown since then. And on Sunday, the junior member of the government coalition voted against funding any Olympics. For them to go on, it would require an unprecedented alliance between the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.

The Lviv, Ukraine, bid seems dead in the water with the turmoil and war in the country. "Currently our dream is on hold," said the bid's chief.

There are only two healthy bids: Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China. One's an oil-rich state ruled by a president-for-life, and the other's, well, China. That's no coincidence. With the Sochi games raising the bar to an absurd $51 billion, hosting the Olympics no longer looks like a winning proposition. The failed and aborted 2022 candidacies all have one thing in common: When actual citizens are allowed to have a say, they say they don't want the Olympics.

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