BERLIN (Reuters) - Six cities, including former Summer Games hosts Beijing and Stockholm, have launched bids to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Friday.
Norway capital Oslo, which hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics, is also among those in the running, along with Krakow in Poland, Kazakhstan's Almaty and Ukraine's Lviv.
Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympics and Stockholm staged the Games in 1912. The deadline for submissions passed on Thursday.
"I am delighted that six cities are bidding to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement.
"These cities and their supporters clearly understand the benefits that hosting the Games can have and the long-lasting legacy that a Games can bring to a region."
The bids are submitted by one city but several of the potential hosts will stage some events in other areas to accommodate the wide range of sports and disciplines.
While it remains too early to pinpoint any front-runners, the fact that Asia is hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang and then the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, leaves Beijing facing an uphill battle from the outset.
With Munich's decision last week not to bid, Stockholm and Oslo represent traditional European winter nations, while Krakow, Lviv and Almaty, who also bid for the 2014 Olympics, are bidding to put their name on the global winter sports map.
The IOC will make a shortlist in July before electing the winning bid in 2015.
Only three cities bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, while Russia's Sochi will stage the 2014 edition in February.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien)