By: Mr Karim Massimov
Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chairman of Almaty 2022
Karim Massimov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan (ATR)
This past June the Almaty 2022 bid team presented its technical plan for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to the International Olympic Committee members in Lausanne. While this was not Almaty’s first bid to host the Winter Games, it marked the first time that a Kazakhstani Olympic bid has ever made a presentation to the IOC.
One of our key motivations in making a second bid for the Winter Games was the concept of Olympic Legacy. This concept has been a central theme of Almaty’s bid and continues to drive our vision for the 2022 Winter Games.
But what do we mean by Olympic Legacy?
We believe that Olympic Legacy is most impactful when applied where it is needed most. We have seen the transformative power of Olympic Legacy in many Host Cities over the years. However, Kazakhstan has never hosted an edition of the Olympic Games, nor has the Central Asian region. This means that Almaty is uniquely
positioned to deliver a new and lasting Olympic and winter sports legacy to a region where it is most needed.
Almaty 2022 is closely linked to the long-term goals of the city and region and is a key element of the “Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy”, a long-term development plan to position our country among the top 30 economies in the world by 2050. Sport, and its positive impact on society, plays a crucial role in this plan and that is why it has the full support of our government.
The Winter Games are also a perfect fit with Almaty’s long-term commitment to international sports. Winter sport is our passion. That is why we committed ourselves to building great winter sports facilities in our country and hosted major international Winter Sport competitions, such as the 2011 Asian Winter Games.
Using existing and planned infrastructure, Almaty has developed one of the most compact and efficient Games Plans in the recent Games history. All venues are within a thirty-kilometer radius of the Olympic Village. Seventy percent of the venues required to host the Games are already built and in use in Almaty. And, by 2017, we
will have eighty percent completed for the 2017 Winter Universiade.
Only two additional venues need to be built if Almaty hosts the Games – the Sliding Center and the Almaty Olympic Arena. This makes our Games Concept one of the most sustainable in over thirty years. It is also important to note that all of these venues will see continual use. There will be no white elephants in Almaty.
Beyond the venues, Almaty 2022 will raise the profile of our young country and its people and help stimulate new investment in our future. Kazakhstan is one of the most diverse countries in the world with over 100 ethnicities and 40 religious denominations all living peacefully within our borders.
Additionally, Almaty 2022 will serve as a catalyst for winter sports development programs for young athletes in our country and region. Forty percent of Almaty’s population is under the age of twenty-four, offering the Olympic Movement a fresh chance to instill the values of Olympism in a new generation of athletes.
Finally, Almaty 2022 is a chance to demonstrate the long-term benefits of the IOC’s new Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms. Almaty’s sensible, affordable and sustainable Games Concept will serve as a model for future bid cities and show that countries of similar size and development to Kazakhstan can host the Winter Games responsibly
Our vision, “Keeping it Real” is based on leaving a real legacy for future Host Cities and creating real change for the Winter Games. Our real winter climate, real winter sports hosting experience and real winter ambience fits perfectly with the new Agenda 2020 vision of the Games. By matching our Games Concept to the long-term
needs of our city and region we hope to leave a lasting Olympic Legacy that inspires new cities to bid for future editions of the Games.
Almaty has come a long way and learned a lot since our first bid for the 2014 Winter Games. Now, we believe that we are ready to host an Olympic Games that the country of Kazakhstan and the Olympic Movement will be proud of.
As we prepare to travel to Kuala Lumpur for the 128th IOC session, I have faith that the passion of the great people of our young and dynamic nation will convince the IOC that Almaty is ready to meet the bold new challenges facing the Olympic Movement and reinvigorate the Winter Games.
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