POSTED: July 24th 2015
NewsUpdate

Olympics: Almaty 2022 promises a fresh Winter Games Concept focused on responsibility, conveniently and sustainability

Real Almaty a true winter city © Almaty 2022
Real Almaty a true winter city © Almaty 2022

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Almaty 2022 has plans to change how the Olympic Winter Games are hosted and planned. Thus, ensuring a lasting and genuine Olympic Legacy for not only Almaty but for the region. They hope to encourage cities to bid for future Games. The city of Almaty is known for their long tradition of winter sports. It began in the 1950's when Almaty was the heart of outdoor winter sports activities. Then two decades ago, after becoming an independent country, the city continued to improve the number one winter sports center in Eurasia.

The city has continued to grow and flourish as an actual winter sports city and among the best tourist destinations in Eurasia. Their growth is directly tied to the region's long-term goals and is a fundamental element in the planning of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.  

A brand new Winter Games model that is focused on the athletes

Almaty 2022 has come up with a concept that has been one of the most compact in more than 30 years. Every venue is within a radius of 30-kilometers of the Olympic Village. This allows for an unprecedented convenience for the athletes, relevant stakeholders, spectators, and the Olympic Family.

Real Winter Sports Venues

Almaty already has 70% of the venues necessary for the Games, and those sites are currently being utilized for winter sports. Since 2000, the city has added six top-tier venues to its collection of competition venues and world-class ski resorts. Due to the city hosting the 2017 Winter Universiade, 80% of the necessary sites will exist by 2017.

Minister of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Arystanbek Mukhamediuly stated, "Almaty's bid for the Winter Games is driven by our people's passion for winter sports and is well aligned with our long-term sports infrastructure plan. Almaty will only need two additional competition venues for the Games. Rising demand from the city and region makes the addition of these venues a natural continuation of our strategic plan. Hosting the Winter Games will further the development of winter sports in Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region."

Hosting Experience

The venues have hosted various major winter sports events such as the 2015 International Ski Federation (FIS) Junior Nordic World Championships Under 23, 2011 Asian Winter Games, the 2014 World University Speed Skating Championship, the 2015 International Skating Union (ISU) World Sprint Skating Championships, the 2012 & 2013 FIS Nordic Combined World Cups, the 2010-2012 FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cups, and the 2010-2014 FIS Ski Jumping Grand Prix.

With the successful hosting of such international competitions, Almaty has shown how competent and trustworthy they are as a host city. Almaty has benefited from a vast wealth of experienced and friendly volunteers and event professionals, along with in-depth sports and technical expertise.

Real sustainability means an eco-friendly Winter Games

In addition, Almaty 2022's plan is one of the most sustainable and greenest methods brought to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the last 30 years due to its use of existing venues and little construction needs. The city will only have to build the Sliding Center and the Almaty Olympic Arena if chosen to host the 2022 Games large-scale transportation projects will not be needed to reach the mountain venues.  The sensitive mountain ecosystems will not be affected by the construction the venues.

2022 Winter Games deserve real winter weather

Almaty has the ideal competitive conditions and winter climate for hosting a Winter Olympic Games. The city has plenty of water and snow for such a large-scale event. The mountain venues average around 120-150 cm of natural, fresh snow coverage during the Games proposed time periods. The annual accumulation of snowfall adds up to roughly eight meters. Any man-made snow requirements will be met with ease by using the city's vast mountain rivers and lakes while having no impact on the region's existing water needs.

"Our sensible, affordable and sustainable Games Plan is based on real venues, real winter sports hosting experience and real snow and winter ambiance. Almaty can prove that a nation doesn't need to be a superpower or spend tens of billions of dollars to host a Winter Games. Consistent with the goals of IOC's Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms, Almaty 2022's planning for the Winter Games utilizes our existing resources and is directly linked to our city's long-term goals. Rather than changing our city to fit the Games, we adapted the Games plan to fit our city's needs. This is real change of the Winter Games and exactly what we mean by 'Keeping it Real,'" expressed Vice-Chairman of Almaty 2022 Bid, Andrey Kryukov.

Friendly and Cozy Winter Games

Not to mention, Kazakhstan is one of the most diverse and open countries with over 40 religious denominations and 100 ethnicities living peacefully together. The city offers a wide variety of entertainment and dining options to visitors of all ethnicities and ages. Almaty has a population that is 40% under the age of 24.

Lastly, Almaty 2022's budget is a prudent one and guarantees the full backing of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Their OCOG budget is 1.7 billion USD, and their Non-OCOG budget is 4.5 billion USD, which reflects the bid plan's sensible and moderate spending costs. Furthermore, the region's economy is sound and stable. Created in 200 as a stabilization fund, the Kazakhstan National Fund has a current balance of 75 billion USD and continues to grow. The Games has some "cash in the bank," to say the least.

Mayor of Almaty city, Akhmetzhan Yessimov commented, "Almaty is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city full of young and passionate winter sport enthusiasts who passionately want to bring the Games to our city. Almaty 2022 is fully supported by our Government, and we have the financial strength necessary to deliver a great Games experience for the athletes and participants. To be ready for 2022, Almaty has been investing in winter sports facilities and experience for over a decade, and on 31 July we hope to earn the opportunity to showcase to the world the tremendous progress our country has made."

** 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 · IOC · Olympic · Winter Olympic Games


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