The International Olympic Committee might not get to decide what city will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Apparently, no one wants the honor.
Oslo, Norway, is the latest city to drop its bid, announcing on Wednesday that the government will not financially support it. Cost of the games was estimated to be around $5.4 billion.
That brings the list of dropouts to four, including Lviv, Ukraine (citing political unrest), Stockholm, Sweden (no government support) and Krakow, Poland (referendum vote revealed 70 percent of residents weren't interested).
"It's important to get broad support for such an expensive project and there is not enough to carry through such an expensive project," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg told NRK television. "Without enthusiasm, it's not natural to carry this through."
Before the official bidding period even started, residents in Switzerland and Germany also voted against pursuing bids.
It's hardly surprising, considering the price tags of the Games: Russia spent a reported $51 billion in Sochi. Costs don't have to run quite so high – Canada spent $6.4 billion in Vancouver, Italy spent $700 million in Torino – but no matter what, it's a substantial investment, and people are clearly saying it's not worth the "honor" anymore.
Of the six original official bids, only Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China, are still in the running.
Residents in Beijing don't have the luxury of voting on how the government spends its money, and the ruling party doesn't really have to worry about losing votes in Kazakhstan. China reportedly spent $44 billion hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics (an astronomical figure compared to the $14.2 billion that London spent in 2012).
Of note, the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics have never been held in the same city. Beijing now has a chance of being the first, if only by default.
Almaty, which hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games (the second-largest multi-sport international competition, behind the Olympics), is said to be the favorite. The IOC doesn't vote until July 31, 2015, though, so there's still time to back out. The host city has never been selected by default – but hey, there's a first for everything.