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Beijing Wins 2022 Winter Olympics

Beijing has been selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Beijing beat out Almaty, Kazakhstan in the July 31 vote by 85 IOC delegates who were gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Beijing and Almaty were both considered longshots when the 2022 bidding opened two years ago.

But they were the only two candidates left after four European cities -- including Oslo and Stockholm -- pulled out for political or financial reasons.

On July 31, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Masimov challenged the IOC to make a "historic decision" by awarding the games to a Central Asian city for the first time.

He described Almaty as a city that offers real snow and mountains with all venues within 30 kilometers.

Beijing countered that it offers experience, reliability and the prospect of bringing winter sports to a market of 300 million people in northern China.

China also proposed building high speed railways to cut down travel time between the distant venues and Beijing.

The International Olympic Committee on July 31st also selected Lausanne, Switzerland as the host city for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

Lausanne beat out the finalist candidate Brasov, Romania in that vote.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP