Beijing, Oslo, and Almaty to Compete for the Hosting of 2022 Winter Olympics

September 29, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. shortlist /ˈʃɔrtˌlɪst/ (v.) – to include something on a list from which a final choice is to be made
Example: I got shortlisted for the basketball team.

2. contender /kənˈtendəʳ/ (n.) – a competitor who has a good chance of winning
Example: The judges had picked skilled contenders as finalists.

3. by virtue of /baɪ ˈvɜrtʃu ɒv/ (idiom) – a result of or by reason of
Example: The committee head wants to use recycled materials by virtue of cutting down costs.

4. sponsorship /’spänsərˌship/ (n.) – financial aid or support for something
Example: The government’s sponsorship covers all of the team’s expenses.

5. reluctant /riˈləktənt/ (adj.) – being unwilling or hesitant
Example: He became reluctant to travel to Beijing because of the storm.


Read the text below.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already shortlisted the final candidates to host the 2022 Winter Olympics: Beijing, Oslo, and Almaty.

Thomas Bach, IOC’s president, said that the selection of the three cities gives them diverse options.

Other contenders like Stockholm [STOK-hohm, -hohlm], Krakow [KRAH-koof] of Poland, and Lviv [lveef] of Ukraine also submitted their bids but withdrew afterward. The first two did not get enough popular and political support, while the latter still experiences political unrest.

Despite being included in the final three, Oslo’s bid is still uncertain. Oslo voters previously supported the city by virtue of a local referendum but a recent nationwide poll revealed that 58% of Norwegian voters were not in favor of using the taxpayers’ money to sponsor the event. The Norwegian government will still decide whether it will provide sponsorship for the Games.

According to Gerhard Heiberg [YAR-had hay-BER], a Norwegian IOC member, some people think that hosting the Winter Games is impractical. They feel that the huge amount of money that will be spent on the event should be spent on hospitals, roads, and other community projects. They believe that Norway should retract its bid like what other European countries have already done.

Beijing, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, aims to win the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics to become the first city to hold both Games. However, the IOC is reluctant to assign another East Asian city for the Games since Pyeongchang, South Korea will already host the 2018 Winter Olympics, while Tokyo, Japan will host the 2020 Summer Games.

On another note, if Almaty, Kazakhstan wins the bid over Beijing and Oslo, the 2022 Winter Games will be its first Olympic event.

The host city will be determined on July 31, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which city among the three finalists would you like to host the 2022 Winter Olympics? Explain.
·         Do you think the three cities should still push through with their bids despite the huge costs the event would entail? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think preparing for the Olympics costs so much?
·         Aside from taxpayers’ money, how else can a government fund events like the Olympics?

September 29, 2014