Norway withdraws bid for 2022 Winter Olympics


The Brits out in force at Sochi 2014 – but where to in ’22? Photo: Nick Atkins


Olso’s bid is as dead as the Norwegian Blue

As we predicted back in May, it’s now a two-horse race in the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. And when one horse is Kazakhstan and the other is China, it makes you wonder if you should just tear up your betting slip and head home.

It was confirmed yesterday that Oslo’s bid is as dead as the Norwegian Blue. The project had been on the rocks for some time, with public opinion turning against the idea after seeing the spiralling costs of Sochi 2014. The tipping point, however, was when word got out about exactly what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expects of a host city and its people.

Thanks to the wonders of Google Translate, we’ve been able to take a decent stab at reading the findings from Norwegian newspaper VG, who gallantly digested the 7,000 pages of IOC requirements so that we didn’t have to. Here are some of our favourite bits:

  • IOC members will be received with a smile on arrival at hotel 
  • All IOC members to be given a new Samsung mobile phone with Norwegian subscription.
  • IOC delegates will meet with the King of Norway before the opening ceremony. Afterwards, they shall have a cocktail reception, where the drinks are payable by the Royal Family or possibly the Norwegian Olympic Committee. 
  • Traffic rules and traffic lights must be adjusted so that the Olympic traffic is prioritised. Meanwhile other traffic should be limited; IOC proposes closing schools and encouraging the local people to take holidays.
  • All meeting rooms must be exactly 20 degrees Celcuis all the times
  • During the opening and closing ceremonies, there must be a full bar available for IOC heads at the stadium. 
  • Hotels for IOC delegates should be particularly well pre-washed, and service people should be alert to repair the slightest mistake immediately. 


And it goes on…. The whole thing, in the words of VG, would be one big pampeparty – a ‘pampering party’, according to Google, and our new favourite word.

This will only add fuel to the ever-growing fire that it’s time for the outdated IOC to clean up its act, focus more on its ideals and less on its collective egos and bank balances – the line that Norway’s favourite son Terje Haakonsen has held since before Olympic snowboarding was even a thing.

As much as we loved seeing Sage Kotsenburg and Jenny Jones scoop some of the first slopestyle medals at Sochi, it’s going to be hard to maintain this cognitive dissonance for much longer if the IOC can only find safe haven in corrupt regimes with questionable human rights records.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, perhaps wisely, said that staging the Olympics required broad popular support “and there isn’t enough support for it”. However, for our money it’s VG’s Frithjof Jacobsen that sums it up best:

The Olympics are still a beautiful event, but those who own it have rotted to the roots


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