80 percent of 2022 Winter Olympics venues to be ready by 2017: Almaty's Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov30 july 2015, 19:48
80 percent of the venues for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will be ready by 2017, Tengrinews reports citing Mayor of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yessimov as saying at the press-conference held as part of the 128th session of the International Olympic Committee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the day prior to the IOC selection of a host city for the Games.
Almaty has eight existing competition venues located in a compact area within a 30 km radius, which is one of the key advantages of Almaty's bid, that previously hosted a number of FIS large-scale competitions along with the 2011 Asian Winter Games. Two more venues are being constructed for the 2017 Winter Universiade, thus bringing the percentage of the venues ready by 2017 to 80 percent.
If Almaty wins the bid, three more facilities will be built for the Games, among them are a sliding track, an Alpine skiing venue and an arena for short-track speed skating and figure skating.
Yessimov also reiterated the government's firm support for the bid and assured that should there be any budget shortfall, the government would be ready to tap into its $70 billion sovereign wealth fund.
Yessimov also highlighted the progressive development of the city. For example, since Almaty first placed an Olympic bid in 2000, the city’s GDP has doubled. In 2014, it saw a 1.7 percent increase, while in the first quarter of this year, the GDP was grow at the pace of 8 percent, he said.
Furthermore, what makes Almaty's bid more attractive is its natural conditions that provide a huge amount of snow, unlike in Beijing that will have to allocate additional funds to produce artificial snow. This is especially critical for the IOC after Russian Sochi's unimaginable costs, which turned out to be a way over estimate and which made a number of candidates withdraw from the bidding race.
In the meanwhile, Kazakhstan keeps fingers crossed in hopes to bring the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to Almaty.
The video below shows the Almaty's concept in brief:
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina