Not yet a year on from Oslo deciding to do the proverbial 'one' and make a swift exit from the Olympic bidding process, tomorrow the fate of the 2022 'Lympic Games will be decided. And with Sweden, Ukraine and Poland also on the list of cancelled bids the choice is still as dismal as ever: Almaty, Kazakhstan or Beijing, China.
So, all in all not a great selection, kind of like the end of a box of Quality Streets where all that's left is a Toffee Penny and an Orange Creme. Except one probably can't financially, geographically or meteorologically host an international winter sports event, whilst the other is undergoing a human rights crisis. It puts the FIS vs. TTR debate in perspective, just a little bit.
Taking a glance at the IOC's evaluation of each city's key attributes, it would seem that Beijing is the most likely winner, though extra issues like an air pollution score of 18.8/100 (higher numbers are better) and the fact that there's no natural snow in most of the proposed venues might count against it somewhat.
On the other side of the coin, Kazakhstan probably doesn't have a nearly so bad human rights record as China, though it is pretty abysmal, but though there is actually real snow that falls from the sky, the only video featuring Kazakh snowboarding we have on WL also features a tramp threatening to bottle LNP. Not ideal...
Once you say you are a mushroom, you might as well get into the soup
However, we do dig the Major of Almaty's can-do attitude: when questioned by the NY Times on whether he thought winning was possible, he replied “Once you say you are a mushroom, you might as well get into the soup."
But with that being genuinely the best reason for holding the 2022 Olympics at either venue, please excuse us if we refrain from taking sides on this one. If we're honest, we'd probably rather it was neither... Hooray the 'Lympics!