International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach told The Associated Press Thursday that the IOC would not suspend the bidding or reopen the process for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to invite new candidates after it was announced that Oslo was pulling out of the race.
He said, “the IOC is sticking to its commitments. We have issued the invitation for bidding. There is a clear and transparent procedure. We will follow this procedure with two candidates”.
He added, “we are in the middle of a procedure. We cannot and we do not want to change the regulations in the middle of the race, given the fact that we still have two very interesting candidatures with a very diverse approach”.
Oslo abandoned its bid after the Conservative party rejected financial guarantees for the Games.
Bach said, “for me the decision was no surprise at all. This was clearly a political decision. You have a minority coalition government. It’s very rare that a minority coalition government is taking the risk of losing or giving up its coalition for the sake of a project which shows its benefits only after the next election day”.
Bach defended the attributes of the two remaining bids, Almaty and Beijing. He said that Almaty has a “long winter sports tradition” going back to the Soviet era. “We have a concept of reviving a traditional winter sports centre”.
Bach said Beijing proposed making use of venues from the 2008 Olympics and “creating a new winter sport centre for hundreds of millions of people living in the region”.
The IOC will select the 2022 host city on July 31, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.