Earlier this week, the city of Krakow in Poland formally withdrew its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. After a public referendum in which only 30% of voters supported plans to welcome the games, the writing was on the wall.
The city joined Stockholm and Munich on the list of withdrawn bids – the former citing the pointlessness of building facilities that will barely get used, and the latter with a blunt attack on “the non-transparency and the greed for profit of the IOC.”
Anti-Olympic sentiment is nothing new – read Terje Haakonsen’s long-held feelings on the subject for more – and the Swedes certainly have a point when you look at this gallery of abandoned Olympic venues. However, it’s likely that the stink surrounding Sochi has further rattled the case for the Winter Olympics, which is becoming ever more synonymous with corruption and waste.
There are still four cities in the running: Oslo (Norway), Lviv (Ukraine), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (China). It’s safe to assume that the Ukranians have other things to worry about right now, and with Norway’s politicians and public turning on the idea, it looks like it’ll be one of the other two.
So anyone who experienced something of a moral quandary in wanting to watch the Sochi games while disapproving of the shady regime behind it, it looks like you ain’t seen nothing yet.