Beijing shortlisted for 2022 Winter Games

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Beijing, Norway's Oslo and Kazakhstan's Almaty have been accepted as candidate cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics and proceeded to the second phase of the bidding process, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board unanimously agreed on Monday.

In a meeting held from 7 to 9 July at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, the Executive Board made the decision based on a technological analysis of the applicant cities' applications submitted earlier this year.

"The Executive Board was impressed by the legacy plans of each of the three cities, and will continue to support any future candidate or host city in developing them further," IOC President Thomas Bach said.

"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 200 million dollars," Bach added.

As the the candidate Beijing, he said the city is seeking to provide an extended legacy for venues built for the Olympic Games 2008. It wants to create a winter sports center for China and use the winter games to act as a catalyst for the further development of the tourism and winter sports industry.

Five bidding cities, namely Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine) and Oslo (Norway) for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games met the deadline of March 14 and submitted their application file.

However, Lviv and Krakow pulled out of the biding race before the IOC's Executive Board select a shortlist of candidate cities for the 2022 Games.

The three candidate cities have until January 2015 to submit their candidature files. The IOC President will then appoint an Evaluation Commission made up of IOC members and experts to visit each city and prepare a technical risk assessment to assist IOC members in electing the host city.

The host city will be selected at the IOC session to be held in July 2015 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, is bidding to become the first city to stage both the summer and winter games.

Seen as advantages to Beijing's joint bid with Zhangjiakou in Hebei province are the reuse of 2008 Olympics stadiums, the promotion of winter sports in China and a 90 per cent support rate among citizens.

Beijing proposes holding Alpine events 120 miles (190 kilometers) away in the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou.

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