The Beijing Winter Olympics open in just under two months and are the target of a diplomatic boycott by the United States, with others likely to follow.
So how did Beijing land the Winter Olympics, so soon after it was host to the Summer Olympics in 2008? It will become the first city in Olympic history to host the Winter and Summer Games.
The answer is simple. Potential cities in Europe — as many as six — dropped out of the bidding in the wake of the doping-scandal-ridden 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The widely advertised price tag for Sochi of $51 billion also frightened away future bidders.
When it got down to the voting stage in 2015 in meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the International Olympic Committee was left with only two candidates: Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Beijing won 44-40, a close vote that was marred by what some at the time suggested might have been voting irregularities. IOC President Thomas Bach bristled at the suggestion.