Oslo’s 2022 Winter Olympic bid is off after Norwegian government voted against financially supporting it, the bid’s director of marketing and communications said Wednesday.
“Yes, it’s off,” Marit Høvik Hartmann said in an email.
IOC executive director Christophe Dubi said Norwegian senior politicians made decisions based on “half-truths and factual inaccuracies,” calling it “a missed opportunity” for Oslo and Norway in a press release.
“It is a missed opportunity to make the most of the 880 million dollars investment the IOC would have made to the Games that would have built a considerable legacy for the people,” Dubi said. “In addition, national sponsorship rights granted by the IOC would have delivered a considerable sum and almost certainly substantially more than the 181 million dollars estimated in the bid. The most recent editions of the Olympic Winter Games (for instance Vancouver and Sochi), which have all either broken even or made a profit, have made sponsorship revenue four times higher than that.
“Earlier this year the Norwegian bid team asked for a meeting with the IOC for an explanation of all aspects of the IOC requirements, including the financial details, and the IOC arranged this for all three bid cities in order to ensure fair play amongst the three bids. Unfortunately, Oslo sent neither a senior member of the bid team nor a government official to this meeting. For this reason senior politicians in Norway appear not to have been properly briefed on the process and were left to take their decisions on the basis of half-truths and factual inaccuracies.
“For a country of such means, full of so many successful athletes and so many fanatical winter sports fans it is a pity that Oslo will miss out on this great opportunity to invest in its future and show the world what it has to offer.”
Oslo was named one of three finalist cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in July. The two remaining finalist cities are Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing.
The IOC will vote to select the host city on July 31, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine and Stockholm previously dropped out of the race.
Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics. Norway hosted again with the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Games. Lillehammer will host the 2016 Youth Winter Olympics.
Kazakhstan has never hosted an Olympics.
Beijing, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, could become the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Games.