Kazakhstan banks on Olympics for development

Kuala Lumpur, July 29 (IANS) A successful bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics will help develop Kazakhstan, said Denis Ten, ambassador of the Olympic Bidding Committee of Almaty 2022, here on Wednesday.

“The Olympics has a global mission. It is one of the greatest inventions of the people. As our country is still very young, still very progressive, the Olympics is the key for our future development,” Ten said, reports Xinhua.

Ten, an Olympic bronze medallist and Kazakhstan’s first Olympic medallist in figure skating, emphasised that winter sports is important to his country. Ten recalled the day when he started figure skating, saying, “17 years ago, I took my first step on the ice and I didn’t have opportunities to practice professionally.

“Today, figure skating in Kazakhstan is so big. We have people doing sports in their spare time. We have lots of ice facilities. We have professional buildings built for sports and they are convenient.”

Almaty 2022 vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov explained that their concept is one of the most compact in over 30 years with all venues located within a 30 km radius of the Olympic Village.

“As an athlete, I can tell you that the close proximity of all venues to the village is an amazing benefit for the Olympians. The short travel time makes life easier for the athletes and allows them to better prepare for the biggest competitions of their lives,” Ten added.

Almaty is competing against Beijing in the bidding race. The International Olympic Committee will vote to decide the winner on July 31.

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