The bidding race for the 2022 Winter Olympics came to an end Friday as Beijing won the bid over Almaty by a tiny margin of four votes, reports The New York Times.
This makes the Chinese city the first city to host both versions of the game in more than a century of Olympic history.
Beijing received 44 votes from the International Olympic Committee delegates while Almaty, Kazakhstan received 40, showing how conflicted the voters were on the decision.
In the end, the I.O.C. gave Beijing the right to host the game despite the country’s lack of history with winter sports. Beijing’s status as a popular tourist destination and its success with the 2008 Summer Olympics certainly contributed to the decision-making.
Overall, Beijing was a safe choice over Almaty, which has the natural resources for the winter sports, but not the financial resources as a developing country since only gaining independence in 1991.
While there is much celebration, there is also concern from various activist groups about not only the human rights of workers but the ecological impact of the artificial snow-making operation that will be critical to the Winter Olympics.
Have trouble envisioning snow in Beijing? Watch the video below from the The New York Times.