Winter Olympics 2022: Beijing chosen to stage Games
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 9:13 AM CST
(CNN) Beijing is set to become the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics after it was chosen to stage the 2022 Winter Games.
International Olympic President Thomas Bach confirmed Beijing, which hosted the Summer Games in 2008, had been chosen ahead of Almaty in Kazakshtan at the 128th IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Friday.
\"I am so excited. This is China's pride,\" Zhang Hong, China's women's 1,000m speed skating gold medal winner at the Sochi Games, told CCTV.
Only Beijing and Almaty had been left in the running after Oslo, Munich and Stockholm bowed to public pressure and decided not to pursue plans to host the winter sports showpiece.
David vs Goliath?
Had Kazakhstan's pitch been successful it would have become the first central Asian nation to host the Winter Olympics.
With significant oil and gas reserves, it is now the largest economy in Central Asia and had been keen to use this event to increase investment, development and raise its profile.
Proven track record
But Beijing has already proved its worth as a successful Olympic host, having hosted the summer version of the games in 2008.
Its pitch was about being a safe choice and a top tourism destination with the infrastructure to handle large events. Becoming the first city to run both Olympic games could be tempting PR for the IOC.