Beijing will have the honor of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.
History was made on Friday morning when Beijing was named host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. China’s capital will become the first city to have ever hosted both the Winter and Summer Games (2008). Beijing won the bid over Almaty, the largest city in Kazakshtan.
The reception for Beijing’s hosting of the 2008 Summer Games was a mixed bag. On one hand, it was a dazzling display of architectural modernism, with both “The Bird’s Nest” and “Water Cube” being stunning venues. China’s presentation of all the events, its Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and Olympic Village were all lauded. And especially compared to something like the Sochi Winter Olympics, it was stunningly beautiful with, on the surface, very few, if any, logistical failures.
On the other hand, the Games were marked with controversy. Though the city was seemingly able to control its smog problem, the air quality was less than pristine. Large barriers were placed along roadways to hide the city’s slums from travelers’ eyes. Journalists complained of stringent Internet regulations and firewalls. And the event played out under humanitarian concerns – free Tibet, the country’s less-than-stellar human rights record – which nowadays seems to be the case for every international sporting event.
In all, the city’s last hosting was viewed more favorably than not, and has been symbolized as China’s emergence into the westernized 21st century.
As far as logistics for the 2022 Winter Games go, Beijing will host ice events (figure skating, luge, bobsled, etc.). Snow events (alpine, snowboarding, biathlon, etc.) will take place in Zhangjiakou, about three hours northwest of the capital.
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