POSTED: May 24th 2015
NewsUpdate

Kazakhstan celebrates Olympic Day with almost 3m people supporting the Almaty 2022 bid

Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022
Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022

Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022
Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022

Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022
Participants take part in festivities and competitions to show support for Almaty´s bid © Almaty 2022

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Almaty, Shymkent, Oral (Uralsk), and Astana, the four biggest cities in Kazakhstan had almost three million people take part in the Olympic Day celebrations. The Ministry of Culture and Sports, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Kazakhstan, the Organizing Committee for International Sports events in Almaty city, and the respective city administrations organized the celebrations. All this was to support and aid Almaty in their bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

An additional 25,000 people throughout Kazakhstan participated in competitions and festivities that the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the NOC of Kazakhstan organized. Cycling marathons were arranged in the country's biggest cities where the city Mayors competed along with traditional Kazakh sports in Shymkent. Large crowds lined the streets to watch and cheer on the participants. Local sports clubs and national sport federations organized various activities like workouts, street ball, wrestling, sumo fighting, and tennis for residents to join in on after the races and marathons ended.

To highlight the young generation's support for the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement, 10 students, representatives of the active Kazakh volunteer movement in Almaty, presented a 50 square meter flag featuring the Almaty 2022 bid logo.

Recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1992, the NOC of Kazakhstan has had an Olympic Day event since then. Starting with different distance races, the celebration now oversees numerous events throughout the whole country. It has not just athletes, but entire families are marking this special day.

"For us here, it is not just another celebration and further proof that Almaty is real sports city bidding and hosting major sports events like the Asian Winter Games, FIS Nordic Combined Championships or the forthcoming Olympic sports World Championships and the Winter Universiade. This day shows the unity of Kazakhstan. The nation that wants the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Almaty 2022 and I am grateful that my colleagues from the other cities have helped Almaty to tell the world and, in particular, the Olympic Movement «we want these Games."

Yessimov added, "Thanks also to the NOC and the Ministry of Sports and Culture for organizing these events - we honestly hope this reiterates to the International Olympic Committee that Kazakhstan is willing and able to become the host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games," stated Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Almaty city Mayor.

To show solidarity and support for Almaty's bid, Mayors of all four respective cities participated. Also, showing their full backing for the bid were prominent athletes such as 2012 London OG bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling, Gusal Manurova; Double World Champion and Olympic champion in Greco-roman style wrestling, Yuriy Melnichenko; and 2012 OG gold medalist in boxing, Serik Sapiyev.

Vice Minister of Culture and Sports of Republic of Kazakhstan, Saken Mussaibekov commented, "Olympic Day is essential part of Sport strategy in Kazakhstan as it draws attention to Olympic values and to the true essence of sports. We celebrate this historic day with pride because Kazakh people are proud of their sports heritage. We will celebrate the Olympic Day embodying the true Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect, focusing on the understanding and implementation of these basic principles. This year it will be even more special as we are in contention to host the biggest winter sports event, Almaty is in final race to host Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022 - and this honors us and gives reason to our efforts to further implement and root sports as a daily custom in Kazakhstan. Our bid motto of "Keeping It Real!" is more than a simple expression - it is the fulfillment of a nation's pride and ambition to aspire for more, to realize the dream of its people."

Arman Bolarov, one of the participants of the race in Astana said, "Kazakhstan is a country of sport. We love sports, watching it or playing sports. We are very passionate about sport. The 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games would definitely motivate our population even more to be active, while showing the world our wonderful country with diverse culture and give us the honor to host thousands of guests from all over the world by offering them the traditional and warm-hearted Kazakh hospitality. Astana citizens fully support Almaty Bid for Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022 and my personal belief is that we will do it!"

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog www.thepenshockeyshow.com.


Keywords · Almaty 2022 · Olympic · IOC · Kazakhstan · Olympic bidding


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