Reuters reports Harbin, China is awaiting approval from China’s cabinet before launching a bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, according to the city’s sports bureau.
Li Chunlei, who is working on the project said, “we are applying for the 2018 Winter Olympics, Harbin wants to host the Games.
“But it is under the examination and approval of the State Council and there is still some time to go before the deadline”.
China has until October 15 to put forward a bid.
Li added, “if we submit our bidding to the IOC before the deadline, it means we got approval. If we don’t we just don’t.
According to Reuters, Harbin invested 3.1 billion yuan on building Olympic standard facilities for this year’s Winter University Games, including the venue for China’s first accredited Alpine skiing downhill race and a snowboarding and biathlon park. Organizers said only bobsled and luge runs would now need to be built, and there is little doubt Harbin would be the host city when China hosts the Winter Games, even if it’s not in 2018.
China’s deputy sports minister Cui Dalin told Reuters recently, “Harbin, with unique geographical conditions for ice and snow and people who love the winter sports, is enthusiastic about hosting a Winter Olympics. I believe they will continue bidding until they win, until China successfully hosts a Winter Olympics”.
Other cities contemplating a 2018 Winter Games bid include PyeongChang, South Korea, Munich, Germany and Auckland, New Zealand. Tromso, Norway withdrew from the race last October due to escalating costs.