Last week, southwest China’s Chengdu and Chongqing announced a plan to bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, according to a government document released by the Sichuan Sports Bureau.
In the document, the sports bureau stated that a joint bid would “elevate Chengdu and Chongqing’s international sports influence and global competitiveness.” Officials at the Chongqing Sports Bureau reportedly found out about the plan from media reports – not exactly a great start for the two metropolises.
As Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu has already set its sights on becoming a ‘world-famous city for sports,’ with various events lined up over the next few years, including the 2022 World Table Tennis Team Championship, 2023 Asian Cup football tournament and 2025 World Games.
While Chinese netizens expressed excitement at the prospect of hosting another Summer Olympic Games, former Chinese Olympic Committee secretary-general Wei Jizhong is skeptical on whether a bid will come to fruition. “Anyone can say anything but it’s only an idea,” Wei told South China Morning Post, adding that the Chinese Olympic Committee hasn’t made any announcements on the matter.
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“For me, we have to give a chance to other cities around the world. We already have the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and according to IOC [International Olympic Committee] policy, they want to reduce costs. This allows other cities around the world to make realistic bids,” said Wei, as cited by SCMP.
On Weibo, some users commenting on the news were more focused on what they’ll be doing in 12 years. “Twelve years from now my son will be 19 years old,” wrote one user, while another chimed in: “I hope there’s no more Weibo in 12 years.” One netizen argued that hosting the games is not worth it, writing, “It’s a waste of taxpayer money, can we vote on this?”
Beijing’s 2008 Summer Olympics expenditures were over USD40 billion, while the capital city only generated USD3.6 billion in revenue, according to data from the Council of Foreign Relations. However, roughly three-quarters of the budget went to infrastructure projects like rail, roads and airports, as well as environmental clean-up initiatives.
In addition to a potential bid from Chengdu and Chongqing, interested parties include India, Italy, Indonesia, Mexico and Qatar, among others. There is also talk of a joint bid from North and South Korea.
[Cover image via @凯尔特人记事簿/Weibo]