IOC Reviews Files With Five 2022 Olympic Bid Applicants

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) met virtually with the five 2022 Olympic bid applicant cities to review the questionnaire responses they submitted in March.

The 15-minute conference call followed by a 30-minute question and answer period is part of the rigorous selection process that reaches its next milestone when the IOC uses collected information to compile a short list of candidates. That list will be announced by the Executive Board at its next meeting in Lausanne, July 7th and 8th.

But it may be a challenge for all of the applicants to remain in the race into the summer.

Lviv in Ukraine participated in the conference call despite suggesting that its bid had been put “on hold” pending the results of presidential elections on May 25th and because of the deteriorating political situation due to Russian incursions on the nation.

Poland’s bid from Krakow may also meet its fate on May 25th as a referendum will be held to determine whether constituents will back the campaign to host the Games. Recent polls suggest a majority oppose pushing forward.

Oslo’s bid dug in despite news earlier this month that a major government party opposed underwriting mandatory financial guarantees for the bid. Norway’s bid has until January 2015 to get approval and the parliament will likely defer a final decision until late in the year.

Beijing and Almaty Kazakhstan, however, have avoided setbacks early in the campaign and participated in the conferences full of hope.

Almaty’s Vice Mayor Zauresh Amanzholova explained “it was an exciting experience and showed on the one side the complexity of hosting the Olympic Winter Games but also the chances to change a city to the better.”

With the three European bids faltering, eyes are on the two bids from Asia that are presenting the unlikely scenario of three consecutive Olympic Games being staged on that continent following Korea’s PyeongChang in 2018 and Tokyo in 2020. It could be the fourth consecutive Winter Games outside of central Europe, considered to be the heart of the Winter Games movement.

But Amanzholova adds “the city of Almaty is fully backing this bid because to host the Games here in the center of Eurasia, in a city where winter sport is part of our life, would be an essential part of our long-term city development.”

Ilsiyar Kanagatov, the Vice Chairman of Agency of Physical culture and Sport of Republic of Kazakhstan clarifies the geography when he explains “Kazakhstan is on its way to become a hub for sports in central Asia.”

“For more than a decade already we follow our plan to host big single and multisport events and proved by hosting for example the Asian Winter Games 2011.”

Amid the challenges face by their competitors, Almaty shared news of the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the City of Almaty, all the National Winter Sports Federations, the Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan and the Agency of Physical Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Olympic Committee.

This multi-party agreement is supported by the President.

“It shows the whole country is united behind the bid,” Timur Dossymbetov, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan said.

“Almaty 2022 is a national priority here in Kazakhstan, and the full nation is one team.

“But this is just another step on a long journey ahead with a lot of hard work which will be done with a lot of passion.”

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