Beijing has won the battle to host the 2022 Winter Olympics after the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, made a last-minute vow to lay on a “fantastic, extraordinary and excellent” event. Beijing defeated its rival Almaty in Kazakhstan by 44 votes to 40, with one IOC member abstaining.International Olympic Committee delegates handed the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic events to Beijing on Friday afternoon following a secret ballot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“We are honoured and humbled by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to award Beijing the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games,” Beijing’s bid committee said in a statement. “It is with an incredible sense of excitement that we express our thanks to the IOC and the wider Olympic movement. Just as with the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, the Olympic family has put its faith in Beijing again to deliver the athlete-centred, sustainable and economical Games we have promised.
“This will be a memorable event at the foot of the Great Wall for the whole Olympic family, the athletes and the spectators that will further enhance the tremendous potential to grow winter sports in our country, in Asia and around the world. We would like to congratulate Almaty 2022 for their campaign. We wish to thank once again all the Chinese people and people around the world who have supported Beijing 2022 in this extraordinary bid journey.”
Earlier, the president Xi threw his weight behind China’s bid, promising the “strongest support” for the Beijing Games in a one-minute video address to the IOC delegates.