Beijing, Almaty, Oslo allowed to bid for 2022 Winter Olympics

Lausanne (Switzerland), July 8 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board unanimously agreed here to accept Beijing, Almaty and Oslo as candidate cities for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and proceeded to the second phase of the bidding process.

The Executive Board Monday made the decision based on a technological analysis of the cities' applications submitted earlier this year, reports Xinhua.

"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," Bach added.

As for 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 centre 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 - Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing (China), Krakow (Poland), Lviv (Ukraine) and Oslo (Norway) - for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games met the March 14 deadline and submitted their application.

However, Lviv and Krakow pulled out of the bidding race before the IOC's Executive Board could shortlist the candidate cities.

The three candidate cities have time till 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 would be elected at the IOC session to be held in July 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.