Almaty, Beijing and Oslo have been declared the three official candidate cities for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has announced.

The three cities were the only remaining contenders after the respective withdrawals of Stockholm, Krakow and Lviv from the race.

Kazakh capital Almaty, seen by many as the early front-runner, also bid in 2014 when it failed to reach the candidature stage.

Beijing is bidding to host its first Winter Games after holding the summer Olympics in 2008, while Oslo last staged the Winter Games in 1952.

The decision was announced by the IOC's executive board at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland today.