Few Takers for 2022 Olympics
Only two cities seriously interested
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Krakow has gracefully bowed out. Stockholm and Munich have respectfully declined. The Swiss towns of Davos and St. Moritz bypassed the invitation last year. Oslo got nixed. Only the few and the proud—Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China—are considered serious contenders to host the 2022 Winter Games, according to ABC News.
So what’s the world’s most prestigious sports institution to do when nobody wants it? And more important, why does nobody want it?
According to Business Insider, “the Olympics are a great economy booster” is a lie that has scorned one too many cities. The former host cities of Sarajevo, Vancouver, Athens, and now Sochi have empty stadiums and other facilities that cost them millions of dollars to build—just to serve a two-week purpose.
Expense isn’t the only factor that puts fear into potential hosts. It’s also the media attention they receive. In Sochi, journalists went to Twitter in droves to give their take on how bad the amenities were. As the Guardian put it, it was the “worst TripAdvisor review ever.” No city would want to subject their tourism business to that kind of attention.
The IOC will meet on the matter in six weeks. If Beijing is selected, the city will become the first to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics (China hosted the Summer Games in 2008).