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Olympic officials won’t reopen 2022 bidding after Oslo withdraws

Thomas Bach
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach of Germany speaks at an announcement of the 2022 Winter Games candidate cities on July 7. Possible hosts included Beijing, Oslo, and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Olso withdrew from consideration Wednesday.
(Jean-Christophe Bott / Associated Pres)

A day after Oslo dropped out of the bidding to host the 2022 Winter Games, Olympic officials said they would choose from the two remaining candidates rather than reopen the process.

That means the either Beijing or Almaty, Kazakhstan, will be selected.

“We are in the middle of a procedure,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, told the Associated Press on Thursday. “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 stepped away after politicians in Norway voted against supporting the bid. They weren’t the first ones to back off.

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Previous withdrawals included Stockholm; Krakow, Poland; and Lviv, Ukraine.

Cities have been scared away by the potential price tag. Earlier this year organizers spent an estimated $51 billion to put on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Though much of that total was devoted to infrastructure and new hotels in the area -- not specifically to sports-related development -- legislators around the world remain wary.

The IOC has made much of the fact that it will give the winning bidder $880 million to help defray costs.

“This is a missed opportunity for the city of Oslo and for all the people of Norway who are known worldwide for being huge fans of winter sports,” Christophe Dubi, IOC executive director, said in a statement. "And it is mostly a missed opportunity for the outstanding Norwegian athletes who will not be able to reach new Olympic heights in their home country.”

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Follow David Wharton on Twitter @LATimesWharton


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