The International Olympic Committee on Friday named Beijing the host city for the 2022 Olympic Games in a 44-40 vote. Beijing and the neighboring city of Zhangjiakou, known for being home to some of China’s first ski resorts, beat out Almaty, Kazakhstan, for the games.
Beijing and Almaty were the final two cities left for the IOC to choose from. Four European cities, including Munich and Oslo, withdrew from the running within months of each other primarily due to the hefty cost of the three-week-long event, which is said to cost considerably more than the $50 billion that Russia spent on the 2014 Sochi games.
The official slogan for the 2022 Winter Games is a “joyful rendezvous upon pure ice and snow.” But one of the biggest problems Beijing will encounter is that there isn’t much “pure” ice and snow in the Beijing area. Instead, Beijing will be using artificial snow on its slopes–something that is troubling environmentalists because the water-strapped region is now diverting water from the north to help its snow production.
And water isn’t their only problem. China’s human rights issues took center stage during the 2008 Summer Olympics, and according to the AP, they have only gotten worse since then.
With the IOC’s decision, Beijing will becomes the first city in history to host both a Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
NBC sports will exclusively broadcast the games which are scheduled to begin on February 4, 2022.