Almaty Rules Out Co-Hosting Plan for 2022 Winter Olympics

ATR learns that Almaty's Olympic bid dossier does not include the Kazakhstan president's proposal to share events with Astana.

A Kazakh policeman looks on at the Shymbulak Alpine Resort in Almaty on January 30, 2011. The Asian Winter Games will be held in Kazakhstan from January 30, 2011 to February 6, 2011. AFP PHOTO / LIU Jin (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Kazakh policeman looks on at the Shymbulak Alpine Resort in Almaty on January 30, 2011. The Asian Winter Games will be held in Kazakhstan from January 30, 2011 to February 6, 2011. AFP PHOTO / LIU Jin (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

(ATR) Around the Rings has learned that Almaty 2022’s Olympic bid dossier does not include the Kazakhstan president’s proposal to share events with the capital Astana.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the possibility of Almaty co-hosting the Games with the capital city earlier this month.

He spoke about the Olympic bid in his annual end-of-year news conference, suggesting an approach be made to the IOC to include Astana as an event host to cut costs in line with Agenda 2020 reforms. The changes approved at the IOC Session in Monaco allow more than one city to host Olympic events in "exceptional circumstances" – if there are clear financial and legacy reasons for doing so.

But Almaty 2022 tells ATR it has ruled the possibility of sharing events with Astana.

Asked if the bid book due to be submitted to the IOC on Jan. 7 would reflect the Kazakhstan president’s proposal, Almaty 2022’s head of international relations Oksana Rizanenko said: "We are not going to release the detail of Almaty 2022's technical proposals ahead of the delivery of the bid book to the IOC.

"However, I can confirm that the Almaty 2022 plan in based solely on the city of Almaty.

"Recent reports gave the impression that the plan might be modified to take account of the IOC Agenda 2020.

"Like any responsible organization we have studied the Agenda 2020 recommendations with great care. However, we believe that the original plan developed for our bid has great benefits for the Olympic Movement and we will not be modifying the concept," she said.

According to Almaty 2022’s bid, a new Olympic Park would be built in the northeast part of the city, the site for figure skating, ice hockey and the media village. Only four new venues would need to be constructed for the Games, including a bobsleigh, skeleton and luge track.

Seven facilities already exist but would require renovation. Alpine events are earmarked for Shymbulak, while Ak-Bulak would host freestyle and snowboarding. All venues are proposed to be within a 35-kilometer radius.

"The Almaty 2020 team believes that we have an exceptional plan that will resonate with the IOC members and with the wider Olympic Movement. We look forward to sharing it after the delivery of the bid book to the IOC," Rizanenko said.

The IOC evaluation commission is scheduled to hold an inspection visit to Almaty Feb. 14-18. The commission visits bid rival Beijing in March.

The host city vote takes place at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.

Reported by Mark Bisson

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