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  • Almaty Proposes a "True Mountain Town" for 2022 Games


    The opening ceremony of the 2011 Asian Winter Games in Almaty. (Getty Images)
    Almaty, with a population of 1.3 million, has mountains with 4,000-meter peaks “flowing into the city”, according to the bid dossier, which was provided to Around the Rings.

    Nestled in the mountains, all venues would be located within 35km of the Olympic Village, the bid points out. Typically for Winter Olympics, mountain venues are located a substantial difference from events in the city. For example, trips to Krasnaya Polyana outside Sochi could take around 40 minutes. Getting to Whistler for the 2010 skiing events could take more than two hours.

    The document lists some of the usual desires for cities to host the Olympics: becoming a “regular” fixture on the international sporting calendar, developing the region’s infrastructure and promoting Almaty and Kazakhstan on an international level.

    Perhaps the two biggest questions for an Almaty bid relate to public support and the budget.

    Almaty’s ski jumping venue will be in the middle of the city—a unique setting for the Winter Olympics. (Getty Images)
    A survey was conducted in Almaty and throughout Kazakhstan show only 65 percent of respondents say they “wholeheartedly” support the bid. It is unclear how far that support extends throughout the city or country.

    No exact figures for a Games-time budget were published. The Applicant File only said that the OCOG budget will be 34% of the overall Games budget, with the non-OCOG budget accounting for a further 40% of the total budget. Exact figures would be provided if the IOC selects Almaty as a bid city. The government has offered full guarantees for the Games budget, and 90% of the budget will come from public funds. The bid will cost $34.5 million according to the application.

    Already an experienced winter sport host, perhaps the biggest item in its hosting resume is the 2011 Asian Winter Games, an event comparable in size to the Winter Olympics. Almaty will also host the Winter Universiade in 2017.


    The majority of the venues proposed for the 2022 Olympics are already built.

    Only four would need to be built. Of those, two will be built regardless of the outcome of the IOC decision, while two would be built only if Almaty
    During the Olympics, 120 centimeters of snow is guaranteed, says Almaty 2022. (Getty Images)
    wins the Olympics.

    The sliding center would be a Games-only venue.

    Almaty’s Olympic Park will be the heart of the Games. The Park will have the Olympic Village, figure skating and curling venues, IOC and NOC hotels, the Main Press Center/International Broadcast Centre and the media village.
    Four other venue zones would host the speedskating and mountain events.

    Olympic Village

    A proposed Olympic Village in the park is capable of hosting all athletes, Almaty says. When built, it will have 5500 beds.

    The bid says that due to the altitude of the skiing venues, a second village is possible and that other villages will be built closer to venues if requested by the International Federations.

    Game Dates

    The Olympics would take place Feb. 4 – 20, and the Paralympics are scheduled for March 4 – 13.

    Written by Ed Hula III

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