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Citing Cost, Norway Withdraws Bid For 2022 Olympic Games Citing Cost, Extravagance

The ski jump in Lillehammer, Norway, the site of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
Wikimedia Commons
The ski jump in Lillehammer, Norway, the site of the 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

This month Norway became the fourth country to withdraw its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Oslo’s withdrawal leaves only two cities in the race: Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing, China.

The main concern has been cost. This year’s Winter Games in Sochi were the most expensive ever, with a price tag of $51 billion.

Another significant factor for Oslo was reportedly the number of unusual and excessive demands by the International Olympic Committee says World Views Host Suzette Grillot.

“Things like, ‘We have to have special lanes to drive our cars’, there has to be a car and driver at the beck and call of every single IOC member, they have to be greeted at airport by the President, they demanded a reception with the King at expense of Norway, bars had to be stocked, food had to be rotated, even things like ‘I show up to the hotel, I have to be greeted with a smile,’” Grillot says.

World Views panelist Rebecca Cruise says that these demands demonstrate the corruption of the IOC.

“A lot of people in Western Europe ... look to Sochi, look to the IOC, and see a lot of elites that are in charge of these things and then you throw these kinds of outlandish requests on top of it, and that only confirms the idea that this isn't a transparent process,” Cruise says. “The host city goes to the biggest bidder, and it's not the bidder in terms of the city, but what they can provide to these individuals.”

Because of this, fewer social democracies may be willing to take on major sporting events like the Olympics in the future.

In 2015 the IOC will choose either Almaty or Beijing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Neither is an ideal candidate. Kazakhstan has a history of human rights abuses, and China would have to build a new high-speed rail system to link Beijing to the nearest skiing facilities 100 miles away.

Unlike Norway, however, these cities aren’t likely to withdraw.

“Authoritarian countries, governments, don't have a problem with taking on the public spending or the corrupt and excessive demands,” Cruise says. “These are the cities that are willing to do the massive overhaul of their infrastructures, to put in the money, and perhaps to go along with some of these requests.”


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