Beijing has been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, beating the bid of Kazakhstan’s Almaty.

Having hosted the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese capital will be the first city to host both a summer and winter Games.

Beijing and Almaty were considered outsiders when the 2022 bid race opened two years ago.

But after a host of European cities withdrew for political or financial reasons, the Chinese bid beat Almaty by 44 votes to 40 with one abstention.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that Beijing was awarded the Games because it fitted its new agenda for a “stronger focus on sustainability, legacy, and transparency”.

Despite expected costs of up to £962m ($1.5bn), the IOC said: “Beijing will rely heavily on existing venues, including those built for the Games in 2008, such as the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium.”

The statement added: “Thanks to an additional contribution from the IOC of approximately £564m ($880m) to support the staging of the Olympic Winter Games in 2022, Beijing is confident that it will either break even or make a profit.”

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, were estimated to have cost £31bn ($51bn), making it the most expensive Olympics in history.

via BBC Sport – Beijing to host 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.