Beijing to Host 2022 Winter Olympic Games

- VOA News William Ide,August 1, 2015

China has won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in its capital of Beijing, making it the first city to host both the summer and winter games.  The decision comes despite vocal concerns from international rights groups and activists who say awarding Beijing is the wrong decision given its rights record.  

The vote to decide which of the two remaining cities bidding for the games would win —  Kazakhtsan’s Almaty and China’s Beijing — was a close one with 44 voting in favor of Beijing to 40 for Almaty.

A slight technical hiccup marred the process, when International Olympic Committee members had to switch from electronic tablets to submit paper ballots.

IOC President Thomas Bach announced the decision.

"The International Olympic Committee has the honor to announce the host city of the Olympic Winter Games 2022 - Beijing," he said.

Chinese officials and members of the bidding team who were at the IOC vote in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia leapt up from the seats and hugged one another after hearing the decision. Some shed tears. In a rare display of emotion, an anchor on the state-run CCTV news channel had to pause when starting off his report about the decision to control his excitement.
 
In Beijing, outside the iconic Birds Nest, which was a main venue for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, elderly women were dancing and singing — in what appeared to be more of an organized gathering than a spontaneous celebration. Others waved the Chinese flag and stood on the Great Wall.

In the city of Zhangjiakou, nearly 200 kilometers outside of Beijing where some of the events will be held, local residents were ecstatic. In other parts of Beijing, however, there were few celebrations, while most were pleased with the decision.
 
Well known Chinese athletes such as Yao Ming — a member of the bidding team for the games — see the awarding of the bid to Beijing as an opportunity to ignite interest in winter sports here. Officials claim that China could see some 300 million take up winter sports.

Without a doubt, the decision will be a major boost for winter sports in China such as skiing, ice hockey and figure skating, but rights activists in and outside of the country are concerned.

The IOC says it has received assurances from China on human rights.

In the run up to the games, Beijing has pledged to spend more than $7 billion to clean up its notoriously smoggy air — which is at its worst typically in the winter.

Officials also say that their hosting of downhill events in the parched mountains of Zhangjiakou, which is expected to rely heavily on man-made snow, will have a minimal impact on the environment.  Environmentalists and scientists are skeptical of that pledge.

北京赢得2022年冬奥会主办权

- 美国之音艾德,2015年8月1日

中国北京赢得2022年冬奥会主办权,成为第一个既主办过夏季奥运会、又将主办冬季奥运会的城市。国际人权组织和活动人士高调反对北京主办奥运,认为让人权纪录不好的中国获得冬奥会主办权是一个错误决定。

决定在北京和哈萨克斯坦的阿拉木图之间挑选哪个城市主办2022年冬奥会的星期五投票结果非常接近,北京得44票,阿拉木图得40票。投票过程中出现一个了小技术故障,使国际奥委会成员不得不从电子投票改为纸票。 

国际奥委会何主席巴赫宣布投票结果: “国际奥委会荣幸地宣布,2022年冬季奥运会主办城市是 -  北京。”

在马来西亚吉隆坡的中国官员和申奥团队成员们听到国际奥委会的投票结果后兴奋地跳起来,相互拥抱,一些人热泪盈眶。中国官方中央电视台一名播音员罕见地在镜头前流露感情,在开始报道这条消息前,不得不稍事停顿,以控制自己的兴奋之情。

在北京奥运会主会场鸟巢外,一些大妈载歌载舞,显然是有组织的活动,而非自发的庆祝。还有人站在长城上挥舞中国国旗。 

在离北京近200公里的张家口,人们欣喜若狂。2022年冬奥会一些赛事将在张家口举行。北京其他地方没有什么庆祝活动,不过大部分人对奥委会的决定感到高兴。

包括申奥团队成员姚明在内的中国著名运动员认为北京申奥成功是激发人们对冬季运动兴趣的一个机会。官员们说,中国会有大约3亿人开始参加冬季运动。

毫无疑问,申奥成功将大大推动中国的冬季运动,例如滑雪、冰球和花样滑冰。但中国国内外的人权活动人士对国际奥委会的决定感到担忧。 

国际奥委会表示,已得到中国有关人权的保证。

北京承诺斥资70多亿美元,在冬奥会前清除臭名昭彰的雾霾,雾霾在冬季尤其严重。

有关官员还说,在张家口干燥山地举办速降滑雪项目,对环境影响很小。预计比赛场地将主要依靠人造雪。环境人士和科学加对这种保证持怀疑态度。