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After Sochi, Olympic Flame Heads to Brazil, South Korea, Japan

  • Brian Allen

As the 2014 Winter Olympics wrap up in Russia, the next three Olympic destinations already are known. Where the Summer and Winter Games will be held after 2020, though, is still to be determined.

From Sochi, Russia, the Olympic flame will travel to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, which was announced as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics in 2009. The Rio games plan on using some of the same facilities that Brazil is building and upgrading for the FIFA World Cup, which the country will host later this year. Much of that World Cup construction, however, is behind schedule -- plagued by protests, accidents, and threats of worker strikes.

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, a professor of sports management at George Washington University, worries the double duty of hosting the World Cup and Summer Olympics back-to-back might be difficult.

“It may have been too much for Brazil, which is still developing and still struggling to figure out what it wants to be, and how to break out of the developing country stage," said Neirotti. "They still have high corruption, still a number of issues that, really, the organizers were trying to show that they were beyond that, and that they could do these games without that much corruption. Unfortunately it just didn’t happen.”

In 2018, the Olympic Winter Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. This will be South Korea’s second Olympics, and its first Winter Games.

The 2020 Summer Olympics will stay in Asia -- Tokyo was announced as host late last year.

“Tokyo had an excellent bid, and they were safe. Yes, there was concern about the nuclear issues, things like that. The IOC was tired of worrying about whether facilities will be done, how much corruption there is, and they know in Tokyo, they are very organized, they will put on great games without too much worry,” said Neirotti.

Competing to host the 2022 Winter Olympics are Krakow, Poland; Oslo, Norway; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Lviv, Ukraine; and Beijing, China.

Beijing hosted the summer games in 2008. The city says it would stage the indoor ice sports and opening and closing ceremonies -- while relying on Zhangjiakou more than 160 kilometers (100 miles) away for the outdoor events. Traditionally, however, the IOC likes to move the games around as much as possible -- meaning a third-straight Asian games is unlikely.

The race for the 2024 Summer Olympics is wide open.

The United States Olympic Committee has not decided whether it will bid, but Bob Sweeney, CEO of a group called "DC 2024," said Washington D.C. is very interested.

“We are an international, cosmopolitan, thriving city now," Sweeney said.

Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles also have expressed interest in bringing the Summer Games back to the United States for the first time since 1996. Paris, Rome, Budapest, Nairobi and Istanbul are also considering bids.