People travel in cable cars above the Medeu skating oval in Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 26, 2015. Almaty, the financial capital, will go head-to-head with the Chinese capital Beijing on Friday when the International Olympic Committee elects the winner at its session in Malaysia. [Photo/Agencies]
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The International Olympic Committee will vote Friday on the host city for the 2022 Winter Games, choosing between Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Almaty, former capital of the ex-Soviet Republic in central Asia, is making its second Olympic bid, but this is the first time it has reached the final stage.
Here’s a quick look at the Almaty bid:
Population: 1.6 million.
Previous Olympics: None.
Previous winter bids: 2014 (failed to make list of finalists).
Bid leader: Andrey Kryukov.
Venues: 10 existing or under construction.
Olympic Villages: 3.
Organizing committee budget: $1.752 billion.
Infrastructure budget: $4.5 billion, including projects not directly for Olympics.
Public Support: 85 percent in Almaty; 87 percent in Kazakhstan (IOC poll results).
Dates of games: To be determined.
Slogan: “Keeping it Real.”
People walk past a banner promoting Almaty candidate city for 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Medeu skating oval in Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 26, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
Pros: Compact “plug-and-play” layout with venues within 18-mile (30-kilometer) radius; short travel times and distances; traditional winter setting with tall mountains and plenty of natural snow; use of existing venues; relatively low costs; young, emerging country _ former Soviet republic _ looking to establish itself on world stage.
Cons: Relatively unknown to IOC members; limited experience in hosting major international sports events; no Kazakh IOC members or natural support base; uncertainty over country’s future political and economic stability beyond President Nursultan Nazarbayev; IOC concerns over potential shortage of hotel rooms; air pollution; human rights issues.
IOC evaluation report: “Almaty’s Games concept offers a compact plan that makes good use of existing venues and the natural advantages of the nearby mountains.”
Status: Still the underdog.
A skier soars through the air during training session at the Sunkar Ski Jumping complex in Almaty, Kazakhstan, July 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
Kazakstan’s bid team speak at a news conference about Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 29, 2015. The host city for those Olympics will be announced on Friday after a vote of International Olympic Committee members in the Malaysian capital. [Photo/Agencies]