Beijing is capable of hosting a successful Winter Olympic Games, a top official from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said yesterday.
According to the Shanghai Daily, Alexander Zhukov, the IOC’s chief inspector, following a five-day visit to the capital said “our visit confirms that Beijing is capable of hosting a successful games.”
“It has been a productive and informative visit,” he said, adding that he will “leave with a much greater understanding” of the city’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
If the Chinese capital is selected by the IOC, it would make Beijing the first city in the world to host both the winter and summer games.
Beijing’s bid relies heavily on the experience and infrastructure gained from hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics, as well as expanding the appeal of winter sports to citizens of the world’s most populous nation.
The IOC will announce its decision on who will host the games on July 31 in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Only two cities remain in the running, the other being Kazakhstan’s Almaty.
Norway had submitted a bid for Oslo to host the 2022, but later withdrew it after the expense and benefits of hosting the event fell under heavy domestic scrutiny.
By Dominic Jackson