BREAKING: Beijing chosen to host 2022 Winter Olympic Games

Beijing has been chosen as the city to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, beating Kazakhstan’s Almaty to the honour.

The Games will be broadcast on Eurosport following a pan-European rights deal signed in June.

The Chinese capital hosted the 2008 Olympics and will now become the first city to host a summer and winter Games.

BEIJING 2022

China's Vice Premier Liu Yandong celebrates with members of the Beijing delegation

China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong celebrates with members of the Beijing delegation – Reuters

The IOC opted for a safe pair of hands after four of the initial six candidates — including winter sports powerhouses Stockholm and Oslo — had pulled out of the campaign due to lack of local support or financial concerns.

Performers cheer in Beijing ahead of the IOC's announcement of the winning city for the 2022 Winter Olympics bid
Performers cheer in Beijing ahead of the IOC’s announcement of the winning city for the 2022 Winter Olympics bid – Reuters

It won a very close-run contest by 44 votes to 40, with one abstention.

Beijing and Almaty were considered as outsiders to be awarded the hosting duties when the bid opened back in 2013. However, they were the only two candidates remaining after four European cities pulled out of the running.