From IOC Executive Board Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland – On Monday in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will release a report from their evaluation commission measuring the viability of three bids for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Based on the report, the Executive Board will determine which of the applicant cities will move on to the candidate phase that will end July 31, 2015 with the election of the host city.
The Candidature Acceptance Report represents a technical evaluation of the 2022 bids based on their questionnaire responses and other data acquired by the IOC. In the past, the IOC has set a benchmark score and they have short-listed each bid that surpasses this score, however they are not committed to this model. Additional bids may also be included at the discretion of the board.
The 2022 campaign started with six applicants, but over the past eight months that number has dwindled to only three after a bids from Stockholm in Sweden, Krakow in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine all bowed out.
The remaining field is comprised of bids from Almaty Kazakhstan, Beijing and Oslo Norway. With only three bids currently under consideration, there is little need for the IOC to further trim the list and it is likely all three will make it through to the candidature phase if they can only exhibit that they have the minimal requirements to succeed.
But this race is far from typical. Krakow was crushed by a local referendum; Lviv rendered unviable due to the Russian incursion and Stockholm just found the bid economically unappetizing. The field has been so volatile that the GamesBids.com’s BidIndex normally issued during the early days of the application phase has been delayed until after the short list announcement in order to integrate more reliable data.
The announcement will be made at 12:00 noon local time.
Those listed will continue to campaign and are required to submit a full candidature file to the IOC in January 2015.
This is how GamesBids.com rates the chances of each bid. The bids are color coded and ranked in confidence order.
GREEN = WILL BE ACCEPTED
AMBER = MAY OR MAY NOT BE SELECTED
RED = WILL NOT BE SELECTED
Oslo has the strongest bid in the current field. A nation rich with a winter sports culture and vast experience organizing events – Norway’s bid stands out. The nation is already set to host the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 2016.
But Norway may lack the support of local constituents, and more importantly, the parliament. A coalition partner has vowed to vote against funding the bid in a motion set for December this year, and this would effectively end Oslo’s Olympic dreams.
Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games and is arguably a better prepared candidate than it was for the 2014 Games when it just missed being added to the shortlist. While the city will most certainly be added to the 2022 shortlist, it will have a lot of work to do to prove that it can organize the Games successfully.
However if Oslo drops out of the race later this year – Almaty will become the most likely host for the 2022 Winter Games.
Beijing will become an unlikely candidate for these Games – and this may even be a surprise for the organizers themselves. A 2022 Games in Beijing would mean that three consecutive Olympic Games will be held in East Asia (PyeongChang 2018 and Tokyo 2020) and it would be the second Games in a single city in 14 years.
But beyond that, the bid isn’t even compelling. The ice cluster will be very distant from the snow cluster, and pollution will likely remain a factor as it was during the 2008 Games.
It has also been suspected that China is using this opportunity as a “warm-up” bid for a future Winter Games and winning wasn’t even a consideration.
But with this dysfunctional 2022 field, it seems anything can happen.