(ATR) An ambitious, global sports event schedule could eventually lead to an Olympic bid from Turkmenistan.
Dayanch Gulgeldiev, vice president of the Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee and the country’s sports minister, made the comments as part of a wide-ranging interview with Around the Rings on the sidelines of the Asian Games in Jakarta.
"We are dreaming of that," he said when asked about a bid for the Olympics, although he didn’t target a specific year.
"The main thing for us we are going to show the world our facilities."
For the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, the Turkmenistan government built a sprawling, world-class Olympic Park filled with glittering new purpose-built venues and even its own monorail system. The sports hub would be the center of any Olympic bid.
"Our primary goalfor the moment is to bring more Olympic sports and international championships," said Gulgeldiev.
"Everyone will know about what we have, then we will plan for the Games."
A remote, autocratic country in Central Asia that would also be the smallest host country in decades, Turkmenistan would seem an odd choice for the IOC.
But there appears to be some justification for Turkmenistan, as it widens the appeal of its hosting capabilities.
"Most of the international federations are approaching us and asking us to host any of their events," Gulgeldiev said.
Up next for Turkmenistan is the weightlifting world championships in September.
Gulgeldiev also said that the government and NOC are in ongoing discussions with international federations to create a years-long national event hosting schedule.
Reported by Ed Hula III in Jakarta
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