KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Xinhua) — The delegation for Almaty 2022 Winter Olympic Games held its scheduled presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the 128th IOC session here on Friday.
Almaty 2022 started their presentation with a video showing the beautiful and snowing scene of Almaty, which means “the place where the apples grow”.
“Kazakhstan is where the east meets west, the north meets south. The world came to us. You might not be familiar with Almaty, but I’m sure you are with the Silk Road,” said Kanzakhstan Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov.
Leading by Kanzakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov, 11 members of the Almaty delegation delivered their presentation, including Almaty city mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov and 2014 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Denis Ten.
“Almaty 2022 is a return to simplicity to what the Olympic Games used to be. It is based around the needs of athletes not the country. No one will endure long journeys with all our venues within a close radius,” said Almaty 2022 vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov.
Under the slogan “Keeping it Real”, Almaty has emphasized its traditional winter setting with tall mountains and plenty of natural snow coverage as well as compactness – most venues are within half an hour’s travel through Alpine scenery.
“We have now provided legally binding guarantees for 31,000 rooms. This far exceeds IOC requirements. You can rest easy, knowing our accommodation plan is sustainable,” added Kryukov.
Kryukov stressed that Almaty has winter sport experience, as they held 2011 Asian Winter Games at Medeu Skating Cluster where over 130 records broken and Almaty also would host the 2017 Summer Universiade.
Massimov concluded Almaty’s presentation by saying: “Almaty is not a risky choice for 2022. We are a golden opportunity to show smaller, advancing nations can host the Games, to give athletes the true winter experience they deserve, and will remember for the rest of their lives. A golden opportunity to make Agenda 2020 come alive.”
The Beijing delegation will start its presentation after Almaty.
There will be 85 IOC members voting in the 2022 race as three Chinese members are ineligible and IOC president Thomas Bach is not to vote.
While both Kazakhstan and China are vying for the first time of the hosting right for the Winter Games, Kazakhstan will be the first Central Asian country to host Olympic Games if Almaty is chosen.