China’s long road to the Winter Olympics

With Olympic visas already in force, it’s clear we’re in the final run-up to the Sochi Olympics. But as one cycle nears completion, another one is just starting. The quest to host the 2022 Winter Olympics has begun with six bids from Europe and Asia – including a Chinese bid from Beijing & Zhangjiakou – competing in a fascinating battle between traditional and developing winter sports markets.

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The not so well known ski resort of Zhangjiakou

The race won’t be decided until July 31, 2015, at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s likely that some of the six bids will be shed well before that stage. As I’ve said before, the Chinese bid looks a distant prospect on paper for several reasons, but its bid is still very important even if it turns out to be a set-up for 2026 or beyond. In this piece I look at what China has to do to overturn the odds and win. Here’s an extract:

Sources close to the Olympic movement say China won’t hold anything back in its quest for 2022. A half-hearted bid would unnecessarily waste a lot of money, and worse still, it could leave a negative impression in voters’ minds that could carry over to future bids.

Counting in Beijing’s favor is the fact that the capital held a successful Games so recently. There are so many intangibles involved when calculating the profit/loss line from an Olympic Games, but the 2008 Olympics exceeded expectations in terms of sponsorship, and the overall experience gained from five years ago would still be very relevant today.

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