IOC (International Olympic Committee) faces crisis over finding city to host 2022 Winter as Stockholm, Munich, Davos and Krakow have withdrawn their applications and Oslo’s candidacy is in doubt. Lviv in Ukraine has also put it on hold because of the current unrest in the country.
The situation is grave. I’ve never seen anything like this, says Gerhard Heiberg, the Norwegian IOC member. We need to sit down and discuss what is going to happen. We find ourselves at a crossroads.
The Olympics have weathered world wars, boycotts and corruption scandals. These days, the IOC has a new crisis on its hands: Finding cities willing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics is a case in point. High costs and internal political opposition prevented several potential contenders not to bid.
It can quickly become a grim crossroads. If it comes to chose between Almaty in Kazakhstan and Beijing in China, this will probably send a signal that only countries without a democratic government can spend huge sums of money on the Olympics.
“We have an image problem” admits Heiberg. People in Norway say they love the Olympics, but hate the IOC, he told AP news agency. The international news agency writes that Oslo had been the clear favorite, and points out that there are Norwegians who won the most medals at the Winter Games and the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994 is described as the best event ever. If there had been a referendum today, the “no” side would win by a large margin. But this can be changed, we still have time, he added.