Beijing, Almaty highlight bidding strengths for 2022 Olympics

Laussane, June 10 (IANS) Beijing and Almaty shed some light on the merits of their bids for the 2022 Winter Olympics in their presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We were very much encouraged by the IOC’s recognition of our vision, delivery capabilities and our ambition to take winter sports to over 300 million Chinese,” said Yang Lan, a member of the Beijing delegation, reports Xinhua.

Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun said on Tuesday that the “IOC has recognised the work we have put into this bid, while giving us a positive evaluation”.

He mentioned favourable meteorological conditions in the Olympic areas as well as China’s extensive experience in hosting international sporting events.

Asked about air quality, Wang said that “clean air is essential for the quality of life as well as for successful games”. According to the mayor, a five-year clean-air action plan for Beijing has already reduced pollution by targeting major pollution sources.

While only less than two months remain until IOC chooses the host city during its 128th session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, Wang said that “we will carefully study the feedback that we received from IOC and further refine our plans and preparations in all respects in order to assure that we are in the best possible position”.

The vice-chairman of Almaty 2022 bid Andrey Kryukov said that the city’s plan is to “fit the Olympics into our city” and as Kazakhstan’s cultural and economic capital, situated in mountains, Almaty is a prime winter sports location. He also stressed the committee’s pragmatic approach, saying that “we’re not jumping to the future, we are going forward step by step”.

According to Almaty committee members, financing “will not be a problem” given Kazakhstan’s growing economy and abundant natural resources. “Our economy is stable and strong,” said Kryukov, who also mentioned the country’s experience of hosting the Asian Winter Games in 2011.

Almaty Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov confirmed that “we have guaranteed what we need to guarantee” and that time will tell whether the Central Asian country has done enough to clinch the 2022 Winter Games.

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