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  • Almaty 2022: Proximity to Mountains Our Biggest Asset


    The mountains are 35 to 40 minutes drive from the city (Almaty 2022)
    (ATR) Almaty 2022 official Andrey Kryukov tells Around the Rings that the Kazakhstan bid is working hard to submit a strong applicant file to the IOC.

    Kryukov, an NOC executive board member and representative of the Almaty mayor, said the city had built up experience and learnt the lessons from two previous Olympic bids.

    “We know how difficult it is to realise,” he told ATR following a bid briefing at the Sochi 2014 Games.

    “Our first bid was during the Soviet time and the second bid in 2006. From that time we have realised our plans, year by year we have built some infrastructures which we announced at that time.”

    He was keen to emphasize that Almaty had pursued the development of sports facilities, despite failing to make the IOC shortlist of candidate cities for the 2014 winter Olympics.

    “We are working,” said Kryukov, who told reporters at the Almaty 2022 news conference that about 90 percent of venues cited in its bid documents already existed.

    He insisted no big spend was needed to stage the Games, unlike the $50 billion Russia has invested on venues and infrastructure in the city and region for the Sochi Games.

    Of the five cities bidding for the 2022 Games, Almaty is the only one that can boast the mountains being so close to the city - a considerable asset.

    Bid leaders today promoted Almaty as “a true Mountain City with the 4,000m high peaks literally flowing into the city”. All competition and non-competition venues would be sited within a 35 km radius of the Olympic Village.

    “Yes, I think this is our main advantage,” he told ATR.

    “We have the Games really in one town, from the [Olympic ] Village the farthest facility would be 35 to 40 minutes driving. This is nothing,” he explained.

    “All the other ones are in the city. You can go to the ski jumping complex and 300 meters from this is shopping centre with major brands. This is downtown. It’s reality.”

    Only two new competition venues would need to be built for the Olympics – a luge and bobsleigh track and a 12,000-capacity arena for figure skating.

    He added: “We already have a good project and will implement it for sure.”

    Almaty faces competition for the 2022 Olympics from Beijing, Lviv, Oslo and Krakow.

    During the Sochi Games, all but the bid from Krakow have held media briefings in the Black Sea resort.

    Krakow had to cancel its briefing last week due to the death of the father of the Polish bid leader. She was not able to return to Sochi as planned this week due to her commitments as an MP.

    Reported and written by Ed Hula and Mark Bisson.

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