The Olympics no one wanted have found a home. The 2022 Winter Games will be held in Beijing, China, which was selected in a surprisingly tight vote over Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was a short list of finalists because every other candidate city withdrew their bids, now that most everyone realizes the Olympics are a civic and economic nightmare.
Beijing defeated Almaty by a vote of 44-40, much closer than observers were expecting. (And the vote was done by paper ballot, after the first round of electronic voting wasn’t counted due to a glitch.) But in the end, the IOC decided to go with a country they know is capable.
“It really is a safe choice,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “We know China will deliver on its promises.”
Beijing will be the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics, though “host” is a partial misnomer here—while the indoor ice events will take place in the city, it barely snows in Beijing itself. The snow events will be held in Zhangjiakou, 120 miles away.
The games will cap off a run of three straight Olympics held in East Asia, coming on the heels of Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games.