Beijing to host 2022 Winter Olympics, probably should just host all Olympics from now on

Beijing has been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, defeating Almaty, Kazakshtan in a two-city race after every city you’ve actually heard of dropped out. This will make Beijing the first city to have hosted both the summer and winter games, which is interesting from a trivia perspective I suppose, and the second city where there isn’t really any snow to host a Winter Olympics. (Events requiring actual winter will be held 100 miles away in Zhangjiakou.)

If there’s an upside here, it’s that at least Beijing already has lots of event spaces left over from the 2008 Olympics that can be repurposed for 2022, and presumably has already evicted everyone necessary to make way for the Olympic Village and such. In fact, once Beijing has a full set of Olympic venues for all seasons, maybe it would be best just to let it have the Olympics permanently, as Chris Dempsey of No Boston Olympics suggested earlier this week in my article for Vice:

Dempsey, for one, dreams of a day when the Olympics will just settle down in one place and put this orgy of beach-volleyball-stadium-building to an end. “Since 1896, we’ve invented the radio, TV, the internet, air travel,” he says. “You’re in a world now where 99.9 percent of people watch it on a screen. And the vast majority of the other people who are going to be there will fly in to see it. So they could really fly anywhere in the world for it — they could fly the same place every four years, and you could build this stuff once and not have to worry about with these massive capital and infrastructure costs.”

Sure, China has a terrible human rights record, but clearly the IOC doesn’t care much about that anyway. It would mean North America and Europe watching lots of events in the middle of the night or on tape delay, but we do that regardless, and who’s to say that Asia’s huge population doesn’t deserve to watch the Olympics in their own time zone? If Beijing wants to be Olympic City, I’m all for it, so long as it spares the rest of the world’s cities the headache. Now we just need to do something about the World Cup.


15 comments on “Beijing to host 2022 Winter Olympics, probably should just host all Olympics from now on

  1. An idea I’ve tossed around in my head in regards to Olympic sites:
    – have 5 sites each on 20 year rotation for Summer and Winter Olympics

    – Summer sites could be:
    — Los Angeles
    — London or Paris
    — Beijing or Tokyo
    — Sydney
    — Rio

    – Winter sites could be:
    — Salt Lake City
    — Vancouver
    — St. Moritz
    — Innsbruck
    — Pyeongchang, South Korea

    Obviously you could play around with which cities to include, but having 5 permanent sites for the Summer/Winter games could keep the globetrotting nature of the Olympics in place while guaranteeing future use for Olympic infrastructure investment.

    I don’t expect any of this to ever happen, but a man can dream…

  2. No one cares about the Olympics anymore. As a hockey fan, I hope the NHL does he smart thing and stops players from participating. Taking two weeks off in the middle of the season has always been stupid.

    @Neil deMause
    If Beijing wants to be Olympic City, I’m all for it, so long as it spares the rest of the world’s cities the headache. Now we just need to do something about the World Cup.

    World Cup should be rotated between USA, England, Germany, Japan and Brazil. Those countries already have everything in place and there would be no need to use slaves to build stadiums like Qatar.

  3. I like the idea of a location holding consecutive winter-summer games. If you can guarantee that a good portion of the infrastructure would be used twice, that would help a lot.

    Sochi was a bizarre choice for a winter Olympics, probably born of corruption. It would help if the corruption would end.

    Yeah, a place like Salt Lake or Denver would be able to host both winter and summer games. I’m sure there are many examples like this. Ironically, Beijing is a poor choice for a winter Olympics. It’s too dry in winter, and they’ll end up making artificial snow from the limited water in that area.

  4. why not athens? I’d probably change the olympics from every 4 years to every 5 years so you get it 00, 05, 10 cycles for summer and winter 02,07, 12 .

  5. World Cup should be rotated among developed nations with existing stadiums only. United States, England, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Argentina.

  6. FIFA seems bent on including less-developed countries. Unfortunately, those less-developed countries can’t really afford it, so you end up with the kind of problems Brazil has now.

  7. I’ve never seen in even proposed, but I’d like to see the games split up. Not ended, but split up. Host the track events in one country, wrestling in another, swimming in another and so on. Do it for both winter and summer. In would certainly take some coordination and increase expenses for TV broadcasters, but I think it would be great to allow smaller countries to host their own events, preferably ones that are already big in their countries. Same could be done for the World Cup (I’d rather see a March Madness, single-elimination come first. The top two from each group advancing means the correct teams advance and eliminates spoilers).

    These are international games with players and countries from around the world, let countries throughout the world host events and games every year.

    What will instead happen is games will start going to more and more authoritarian countries or out right dictatorships where the people have less or no say in the financing of the games.

  8. But if the Olympics were always held in the same city it would seriously limit the number of fluffy/pointless puff pieces about the host city NBC could air. They’d have to fall back on even more of their fluffy/pointless “up close and personal” pieces about the athletes’ families, friends, ministers, barbers/what have you. (Not that I watch anyway.)

  9. What if they held the Olympics in the same city but pretended it was a different one? You know, like how movies are set all over the place but all filmed in Vancouver.

  10. ben’s idea is best. There is no reason why the entire Olympics needs to be held in one place. That’s caveman thinking. Spread events around a couple dozen locations around the world.

    More people would be close enough to watch something in person. And no new facilities would be needed.

  11. I think I vote for Neil’s idea.

    Also, I hate the single elimination world cup, you earn qualification (in the US’s region, that means away games in places like Jamaica and Guatamala) you should get to play at least 3 games.

    One more thing, I love Olympic hockey; and international competition is good for the sport.

  12. @Greg No drawback except for the actual Olympians themselves, who instead of meeting, greeting and viewing athletes from different places and cultures in a variety of disciplines will get to see the same people from the mono sport events they usually do.

  13. “Not ended, but split up.”

    Interesting idea, but “split up” Olympics sounds a lot like the annual world championships most sports already have.

  14. There is a site I visit now and then. It is called gamesbids.com. There is also aroundtherings.com but that site requires a subscription.