Oslo submits its bid for 2022 Winter Games
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Oslo submitted its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, saying it plans a low-budget games with the majority of competitions held in the city and the Alpine events in Lillehammer.
The Norwegian Olympic Committee said the games would cost a projected 33 billion Norwegian kroner ($5.3 billion) — a fraction of the record $51 billion that Russia is spending on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics, while Lillehammer staged the 1994 Games.
“That is long enough,” the Norwegian Olympic Committee and Oslo City Council said in a joint statement.
The Olympics “are firstly about the athletes — athletes from all over the world who meet to compete regardless of culture, religion or sexual orientation,” said Borre Rognlien, head of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
Preparations for the Feb. 7-23 Sochi Olympics have been overshadowed by criticism of a new Russian law banning gay “propaganda.”
“We must show respect for diversity, for all kind of people, with all kind of lifestyles and background,” Oslo City Council member Hallstein Bjercke said.
To keep down costs, Oslo said it plans to host most events within the Norwegian capital, using existing facilities. Alpine skiing, bobsled and luge events would be held in Lillehammer, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital.
Oslo announced last week that it would submit a bid to the IOC. The deadline is Thursday.
Another Scandinavian capital, Stockholm, is also in the race.
The other declared candidates: Lviv, Ukraine; Beijing and the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and a joint bid from Krakow, Poland, and Jasna, Slovakia.
The IOC will select the host city in 2015.