The eminently civilised Scandinavians, who surely would be perfect hosts for the quadrennial snowy extravaganza, as they have been twice before, now declare they won't allow their taxpayers to pick up the $3 billion (£2 billion/€2.5 billion) tab for holding them in their capital city Oslo.
Moreover, the tiny if well-heeled nation - population just five million - apparently is appalled at the list of demands - which the IOC claim are merely suggestions - presented as requisites to ensure the fawned-upon panjandrums of the Olympic Movement are accorded the luxurious comforts to which they are regularly accustomed.
For the IOC, Norway's rejection must feel like a slap in the face from a frozen cod.
Oslo's decision to pull the plug on its bid at the 11th hour leaves only Beijing, which isn't within 120 miles of a ski-able mountain and Almaty, largest city in oil-rich Kazakhstan, a country where corruption is endemic and human rights record abysmal, as contenders after Swedish capital Stockholm, Kraków in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine also pulled out earlier this year.
Norway have won more Winter medals than any other nation, and clear favourite Oslo's withdrawal will have rocked the IOC President Thomas Bach, even if he does not publicly admit so.
For it heightens concerns that the Winter Olympics, like their Summer big brother, are now becoming far too expensive, scaring off smaller countries, particularly those in Europe, after Sochi's controversial £31 billion ($51 billion/€37 billion) showpiece in February.
Norway's Coalition Government scrapped the bid because of costs, poor public support and a list of requirements from the IOC which, in a 7,000 page dossier - includes the usual five-star billeting, VIP cocktail parties and dedicated traffic lanes, but also smiles all round and a bit of a knees-up at the Palace hosted by Norway's King Harald V.
For the record this is the list of demands/suggestions from the IOC as revealed in the leading Norwegian newspaper VG.
• To meet the king prior to the Opening Ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the Local Organising Committee
• Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation
• A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members' rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours "extra late" and the minibars must stock Coca-Cola products
• The IOC President shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives
• The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport
• During the Opening and Closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge
• IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel
• Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times
• The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might "risk" having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics
Will there be anything else sir? Run your bath and shine your shoes perhaps?
"Norway is a rich country, but we don't want to spend money on wrong things, like satisfying the crazy demands from IOC apparatchiks," declared the newspaper. "These insane demands that they should be treated like the king of Saudi Arabia just won't fly with the Norwegians."
In response the IOC insist there has been some misrepresentation in the media. "The documents have been widely and often deliberately misreported," they say. "Even a cursory glance would show they contain suggestions and guidance, not demands. These were gathered from previous Games organisers and are advice on how to improve the Games experience for all."
Well, you would expect them to say that, especially after Norwegians effectively told them to take a running ski jump.
President Bach also accused the reporting of being overblown and claimed the decision not to back the bid was a purely "political" decision.
In fairness the IOC's official manual on running the Games does say that a pre-Olympic gathering for IOC members should include a meeting with the head of state, and insists upon a strict protocol for the order in which he or she should greet their guests and seating in the stadium.
Christophe Dubi, IOC Executive Director of the Olympic Games, reckons Norway's withdrawal is "a missed opportunity for the City of Oslo and for all the people of Norway who are known world-wide for being huge fans of winter sports." He adds: "And it is mostly a missed opportunity for the outstanding Norwegian athletes who will not be able to reach new Olympic heights in their home country.
"It is a missed opportunity to make the most of the $880 million (£543 million/€697 million) investment the IOC would have made to the Games that would have built a considerable legacy for the people."
That may be so. But it is also a timely reminder that much of the world believes the IOC, in common with certain other global sporting bodies, is increasingly out of touch with reality.
Surely Bach, seemingly more egalitarian than some of his Papal-like predecessors, and someone who came to office on a reformist ticket, can see that, and will act on it.
The IOC's efforts to modernise under his stewardship comes to a head in Monte Carlo in December with timely calls for changes to the bid process and the "demands" placed on host cities.
Back in Norway, where the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics will still be held in Lillehammer (scene of perhaps the best-ever Winter Games in 1994), Finance Minister Siv Jensen described the IOC as "pompous" and said her country's refusal to accede to the requests "sends a very powerful message to the International Olympic Committee that it needs more modesty and be closer to the people in future Olympic events".
Quite. But will the IOC, which so often gives the impression of thinking themselves more powerful - and certainly more influential - than the United Nations with Lausanne a sort of sporting Vatican, get the message? Breath should not be held.
It may be a generalisation but it would appear that despite earlier clean-up operations some IOC members remain on a par with the freeloaders of FIFA - and British Parliamentarians - when it comes to noses in troughs.
All this leaves one wondering what sort of excesses were lavished on the IOC at London 2012, perhaps disguised under "Miscellaneous Expenditure" on the balance sheet. Probably just as well we don't know.
Meantime, it is disquieting to consider that with the next two football World Cups destined for Russia and Qatar and the inaugural European Games next year in Azerbaijan, the future of sport's biggest events may rest solely in the hands of mega-rich, largely authoritarian nations.
Perhaps it doesn't matter just as long as everyone keeps smiling.
Alan Hubbard is an award-winning sports columnist for The Independent on Sunday and a former sports editor of The Observer. He has covered a total of 16 Summer and Winter Games, 10 Commonwealth Games, several football World Cups and world title fights from Atlanta to Zaire.