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2022 Olympics: Beijing picked to host Winter Games

July 31 2015, 15:10

Image 0The International Olympic Committee has selected Beijing's bid to host the 2022 Winter Games, picking the 2008 Summer Games host city over sole rival Almaty, Kazakhstan.

IOC President Thomas Bach announced Beijing defeated Almaty, in a vote on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The voting numbers were not immediately released.

The Chinese capital came in as the favourite and becomes the first city to be awarded both the Summer and Winter Games. Despite a lack of natural snow and winter conditions, Beijing was seen by the IOC as a reliable and safe choice.

Almaty had hoped to bring the games to Central Asia for the first time and raise Kazakhstan's profile on the international stage.

Both bid countries' rights records questioned

Lesser familiar Kazakhstan, whose 75-year-old president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been in power since 1989, is seen as more of a risk by many IOC members.

Both countries have been criticized for their human rights records. Watchdog groups have called on the IOC to ensure that the winning bid upholds new clauses in the host city contract on non-discrimination and protection of rights during the games.

Almaty was bidding for a second time, but this is the first time it made it to the vote after being cut in the preliminary stage for the 2014 Games.


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