Kuala Lumpur, July 31 (IANS) Beijing was selected to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games ahead of Almaty at the 28th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session here on Friday.
Beijing, which beat Almaty by 44 votes to 40 with one abstention, will become the first city to host both a summer and winter Games. The Chinese capital hosted the 2008 Olympics, BBC reported.
The secret ballot held by 85 IOC members was conducted twice, first electronically and then by paper, after it was discovered the electronic system had malfunctioned.
The Games will be divided between the capital and the city of Zhangjiakou — which is 118 miles north-west of Beijing and will host the snow events.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a letter of appreciation to IOC president Thomas Bach, expressing thanks to the world body for its trust and support in selecting Beijing.
“Today, Beijing together with Zhangjiakou have won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Let me extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, our appreciation to the IOC for its trust and strong support over the years,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.
“To present a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Winter Olympics is the aspiration of over 1.3 billion Chinese people. We will fulfill all our commitments and witness, together with the people of all other countries and the IOC, the advent of a new phase in the development of the Olympic winter sports and in the spread of the Olympic spirit,” the president added.
“The Chinese government and people will implement in good faith the Olympic Agenda 2020, create a new record for the same city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and make new contribution to the advancement of the Olympic spirit.”