Which Cities Even Want the Olympics Anymore?

More democracies are taking a pass

For fans who love a cozy, idyllic Winter Olympic site—in a place without a tainted human rights record—the host city selection for the 2022 Games wasn’t an inspiring bake-off. On Friday in Kuala Lumpur, the International Olympic Committee awarded the Games to Beijing over Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing becomes the first city in history to host both a summer and winter Olympics. The Bird’s Nest, where Usain Bolt thrilled the world with his record-breaking sprints, will host the opening and closing ceremonies, like it did in the summer of 2008. The nearby Water Cube, where Michael Phelps won eight golds, will freeze over and host curling.