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Oslo, Beijing and Almaty remain in contention for 2022 Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that bids from Almaty in Kazakhstan, Beijing in China and Oslo in Norway will proceed to the final stages of the process to determine the host of the 2022 winter Olympic Games.

Today’s announcement was an expected one in what has been a troubled bidding process to determine the host of the next edition of the winter Games after PyeongChang stages the event in 2018. Lviv last month became the latest city to drop out of the bidding race due to the ongoing political and economic instability in Ukraine.

In May, the Polish city of Krakow exited the running after almost 70 per cent of voters decided against a bid in a public referendum. Financial concerns also led to the Swedish capital of Stockholm withdrawing from the process in December.

Almaty, Beijing and Oslo, along with Krakow and Lviv, applied to become candidate cities by the deadline of March 14. Following the Polish and Ukrainian cities’ exit the IOC’s 2022 Working Group has elected to put forward Almaty, Beijing and Oslo, but serious questions remain about the latter’s bid after a governing coalition party in Norway decided in May that it would not support state funding for the Games.

In its report released today, the 2022 Working Group stressed that Oslo’s bid has the “full support of” and is driven by the Oslo City Government and the partner municipalities and relevant counties. On a national level, the Working Group added that an application for state financing and a state guarantee will be submitted to parliament in autumn 2014.

The report concluded: “The Working Group believes that Oslo, Almaty and Beijing demonstrate the potential to host successful Olympic winter Games in 2022 and that these three cities should be accepted by the IOC Executive Board as candidate cities.”

IOC president Thomas Bach added: “The Executive Board is confident that the future hosts of the Olympic winter Games can break even with the Olympic Games budget – as Vancouver has just announced for the Olympic Winter Games 2010. Or, as in the case of Sochi, make a considerable profit, which they project to be in the range of $200m (€146m). This is possible not least because of the extensive financial assistance given by the IOC. In the case of Sochi, this amounted to $750m and it is likely that figure will be even higher for the host of the Olympic winter Games 2022.”

A final decision on the 2022 Games host will be made at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 31, 2015.