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MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. The decision to choose Beijing as host of 2022 Winter Olympic Games was objective, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Friday.
Beijing has been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Gems, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced at its 128th session in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Kazakhstan’s Almaty was another candidate for hosting 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing won over Almaty by 4 votes, receiving a total of 44 votes of IOC members.
"I regret that Almaty was not chosen to host 2022 Olympics," Mutko said. "I am very sorry for Kazakhstanis, our friends. I know how much soul and heart Kazakhstan put in preparations. I am confident that they would have held the Games at the highest level. However, I think that IOC’s decision was objective. China is now one of the leaders in world sports. It develops sport at the state level. China fulfills all its commitments and holds all international events at the highest level. The authority of China is very high in the world of sports. It would be very hard for Kazakhstan to compete with this," he added.
Beijing thus becomes the first city to host both summer and winter Olympic Games. The Chinese capital hosted Summer Olympic Games in 2008.
The Olympic Games will be held in Asia for the third time in a row after PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
Olympic events in Beijing will be held in three places — central Beijing (opening ceremony, figure skating, short track speed skating, hockey, curling, speed skating), north-western Yanqing County (alpine skiing, bobsleigh, luge, skeleton) and Zhangjiakou city (cross country skiing, ski jumping, biathlon, freestyle skiing, snowboard).