IOC cites challenges for Almaty and Beijing Olympic bids

LONDON (AP) — The IOC has highlighted serious challenges facing the two bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics, including pointed concerns over Beijing’s air pollution and lack of natural snow and Almaty’s budget risks and limited experience in hosting major events.

The International Olympic Committee issued a 136-page report Monday that assessed the bids from the Chinese capital and the Kazakh city, citing strengths and weaknesses of both candidacies.

The report by the IOC evaluation commission did not rank or grade the bids or make direct comparisons.

Almaty was portrayed favorably for its winter setting, natural snow and compact layout. Beijing was praised for its high-quality venues, reliability and experience from hosting the 2008 Summer Games.

While the report did not include any major surprises, it did not hold back in listing drawbacks for Beijing, widely considered the favorite.