News

Oslo votes to bid for 2022 Winter Games

Oslo votes to bid for 2022 Winter Games

Anais Caradeux of France competes in the women's Ski Halfpipe event at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway, Tuesday March 5, 2013. Photo: Associated Press/Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB scanpix

OSLO (Reuters) – Oslo residents have voted in favor of bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the Norwegian capital hoping to bring the event back to the Nordic nation of five million for a third time.

With nearly all the votes counted by Monday night, 55 percent of Oslo voters supported the bid in a city-wide referendum, a big turnaround compared to earlier opinion polls that showed that high costs had turned many voters off.

“They say the budget will be 30 billion crowns ($4.98 billion) so you can expect it to blow out to twice that before we’re done,” 28-year-old store clerk Frida Nilsen told Reuters. “That seems to be a lot of money for a two-week party.”

Only Almaty in Kazakhstan has formally applied to host the 2022 Winter Olympics while Barcelona and Munich are also considering bidding.

Norway has hosted two Winter Olympics before, Oslo in 1952 and Lillehammer in 1994, and said it would rely primarily on existing facilities for the 2022 event.

With a huge offshore oil sector filling state coffers, Norway is one of the few countries in Europe that can actually afford to host an Olympics.

The country has saved up $750 billion in a sovereign wealth fund, or about 150 percent of its gross domestic product, and petroleum revenues are expected to flow into the budget well into the next decade.

Applications for the 2022 Games are due later this year and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to select the host city in 2015.

The next Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia in February.

Recent Headlines

in Music

WATCH: Dan Rather interviews Jack White

14-overlay

Sitting down with legendary newsman Dan Rather, the rocker talks about everything from music to being misunderstood.

in Weird

Hearses to parade through Hell (Michigan)

hearse

Dozens of Michigan hearse enthusiasts will show off their casket-carrying cars this weekend during a parade through Hell.

in Music

Slipknot frontman opens up about Joey Jordison’s departure

jordison

Jordison left the band in December, 18 years after he joined the group.

in Music

U2 teams up with Apple again – this time to stop piracy

u2

Bono says the group is working with the tech giant to develop a new file format that cannot be copied.

in Music

Johnny Depp joins Ryan Adams to cover Danzig

20-overlay

The Hollywood superstar joined the singer onstage for several tracks, including a cover of Danzig's "Mother."