Bach: Facilities and sustainability key to winning 2022 bid
Updated: 2015-07-28 16:24
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) speaks to media at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, July 24, 2015. [Photo/IC]
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The vote to determine which city will host the 2022 Winter Olympics will come down to the quality of sports facilities for athletes and sustainability, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Monday.
Bach is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the IOC will vote Friday to choose between Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
"The key issue is to deliver a great games for the athletes, and that means having (a bid) which offers great conditions in the sport facilities but also to have a project which addresses the issues of Olympic Agenda 2020, that means to have sustainable and feasible Olympic Games," Bach said. "And this is what both Beijing and Almaty are offering - this is why my IOC colleagues will have to take a very difficult decision."
Almaty backers promote the bid as being the most compact for the Winter Olympics in 30 years, and say it is the most affordable alternative. Beijing offers experience of hosting the Olympics, and a number of existing world-class facilities.
Beijing and Almaty are the only two contenders remaining in a race depleted by withdrawals when public opposition and financial concerns in Europe began whittling the field of candidates one by one. St. Moritz/Davos and Munich dropped proposed bids after they were rejected in referendums in Switzerland and Germany. Stockholm, Sweden; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; and Oslo, Norway, all dropped out of the race.
Beijing, which would host Nordic events in Zhangjiakou, 160 kilometers (100 miles) to the north, says a high-speed railway will link the cities in one hour and makes the bid more feasible.