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 Local

Jacksonville Police Have “Person of Interest” in Shooting, No One in Custody

gun

Jacksonville Police say they have someone they want to interview in a shooting death from Friday morning.

in Local

Next Generation of Business Leaders Learn From an Internet Pro

computer

Dozens of area high school students spent their morning with a top executive in the social media world

in Election 2014, Local

Senate Candidates Spar Over Treatment of Veterans

durbin oberweis

Oberweis OK with veterans having an option to VA facilities

in Local

Not a Typical Morning for Some State Workers

fire

Woman saved from fire by state employees

in Local

Jacksonville Shooting Leaves One Dead

policetape

Jacksonville man is dead after a shooting near the Jacksonville School District Office