Snow joke, Beijing is up for the Winter Olympics
IT MAY be a two-horse race, but International Olympic Committee members face an extraordinarily tough decision today when they vote for the host city for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The two locations in the running are Beijing and Almaty, a city of 1.6 million people in Kazakhstan.
If Beijing gets the nod it would become the first city to host the Summer and Winter Olympics, although against its bid is the fact it does not have natural snow and would have to rely on artificial snow-making machines.
The Chinese city has the advantage of being familiar to all the delegates thanks to the 2008 Games, while none have been to Almaty because IOC rules prevent members from visiting bid cities.
While Almaty's bid team has admitted the country "is very young and needs to improve tourism development", it said 70% of the necessary venues were already in place and they were within 30km of each other. And perhaps even more importantly, it said, "We have plenty of snow".
The 2018 Winter Games will be held in the South Korean city of PyeongChang.