Kazakh President Addresses Concerns About The Feasibility Of Almaty 2022

Kazakhstan President Nursulatn Nazarbayev discussed the feasibility of a 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Almaty at a meeting of media representatives.  He was addressing concerns about the financial aspect of the Games as many people have begun to question the feasibility of hosting the event.

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Bid leadership teams meet in Lausanne for short-list announcement in July, 2014 (GB Photo)

The President said at the meeting, “I also had doubts.  It takes much to host such a gigantic Olympics.”

“And people are concerned about the costs and whether it is worth it or not.  I have been thinking about it a lot and working on it with my colleagues.”

He said they need to consider several things – a skating rink high in the mountains near Almaty that is ready for the Olympics, world-class ski jumping complex already in place, a biathlon complex built for the Asian Games, and Almaty hosting the Universiade in 2017.

He added that one of the large venues still to be built is the Olympic Village where they are planning to build a dormitory for students in Almaty.  The Olympic Village also involves housing and dormitories, which will stay once the Games are over and will be fully used”.

The President said it was also necessary to expand the city’s infrastructure, clean the city, the environment and so on.

He said “building a bobsleigh track that Almaty does not have yet will be the most costly project.  There will be some spending, but not as much as everyone thinks”.

The President said, that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) promised to provide about one billion dollars to Kazakhstan for host the Olympics if it wins the bid.  The IOC has actually estimated that about $880 million (USD) will be provided to the winner of the bid in the form of its share of sponsorship and television revenues.

Almaty failed to make the short-list in its bid for the 2014 Olympic Games and had been considered an outsider in the 2022 race.  However since the campaign began last year, four European cities have dropped from the race and only two remain – buoying the Kazakh city’s hopes.

The IOC will inspect Almaty and Beijing, the other 2022 candidate, in February or March and the final election will take place in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015.

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