SOCHI SCENE: Beijing, back for more
Feb. 08, 2014
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Hosting the Olympics comes with so many pitfalls.
An entire world arrives at your doorstep, lampoons the cultural traditions that make your home different than others and spends three weeks treating your backyard like a personal playground. There are complaints about accommodations and infrastructure. Once the games are finished, cities are stuck with giant venues that can be expensive to maintain and often have little use beyond the Olympics.
Beijing knows exactly what that is all about, having just hosted the Summer Games in 2008. But that's not deterring the Chinese from coming back for more. Officials from Beijing are in Sochi and hoping to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games.
Beijing and the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou are bidding for the 2022 Games. They are building a high-speed rail line to connect the two cities and are proposing three new arenas to house the winter sports.
Organizers say bringing the Winter Games will help promote sports that aren't as popular in China as those played in summer. But they also know they have long odds of winning the bid. The 2018 Winter Games will be in Pyeongchang, South Korea and the 2020 Summer Games will be in Tokyo, leaving it unlikely the International Olympic Committee will return to Asia so soon.
"I can only say what we are doing now is to make sure we are prepared. ... And we are trying every effort to become the most suitable city," said Shuan Yang, vice president of the Chinese Olympic Committee.
-- Jon Krawczynski -- Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski
Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu