Seriously, Nobody Wants To Host The 2022 Olympics

Norway's ruling party just voted against funding Oslo's 2022 Winter Olympics bid, essentially forcing the city to drop out of the race. It's just the latest in a long series of cities and countries who have given an emphatic "no" to hosting the Olympic quagmire.

In a non-binding referendum in February, 55.9 percent of Norwegians said they didn't want the Games. "There must be major changes in the IOC before I can help to support an Olympic application," said Tromsø Mayor Jens Johan Hjort.



Stoking some of that anger was the IOC's list of demands for an Oslo bid, which included a cocktail reception with Norway's king, with the tab on either the royal family or the Norwegian Olympic Committee. Among the IOC's other demands:

  • Cars and drivers for IOC members, with special dedicated highway lanes
  • Street lights synchronized to prioritize IOC traffic
  • Separate airport entrance for IOC members
  • Hotel mini-bars must have only Coca-Cola products
  • Samsung phones for all IOC members
  • All meeting rooms must be kept at exactly 68 degrees.
  • All furniture must have "Olympic appearance."
  • "IOC members will be received with a smile on arrival at hotel"

Oslo joins a decorated list of municipalities that have declined to pursue Olympic bids, or dropped out of the running after residents voted against it. Invariably, each blamed the rising cost and invisible benefits of hosting the Olympics. Among those who withdrew are Krakow, Poland; Stockholm, Sweden; Munich, Germany; Davos/St. Moritz, Switzerland; and Lviv, Ukraine, which dropped out just before the IOC selected three finalists (the only three cities remaining).

With Oslo out, it's down to Beijing, China, and Almaty, Kazakhstan. The vote will be held on July 31, 2015, assuming one or both candidate cities don't drop out before then.


Below, our story from May on why only the autocratic can afford to host the Olympics anymore.

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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