Almaty says not snowed under by issues facing Beijing
By Julian Linden
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Organizers of Almaty's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics fired a thinly veiled shot at Beijing's proposed plans on Thursday, offering a sneak preview into their strategy to win selection ahead of the Chinese capital.
Although the Kazakhstan delegation was careful not to directly comment on their rival's bid, which is strictly against International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, the inference was clear.
Beijing, who hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, remain favorites to be awarded the Games, despite relying on artificial snow in their nearest mountains and the staging of some indoor events at venues used seven years ago.
Almaty, by comparison, is a relative winter wonderland, which gets blanketed by natural snow every year, a point the bid committee hopes will tip the balance in their favor when the IOC selects the 2022 host city in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
"Our concept is based on existing winter sport venues, not venues which will be modified from summer to winter sports venues," Almaty 2022 vice-chairman Andrey Kryukov told a news conference on Thursday.
"It's real winter sports venues which exist in our town.
"Our town is a real winter town with a real winter sports culture, real nature, real mountains and real snow."
Almaty, who applied to bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics but failed to make it onto the shortlist of candidate cities, have made no secret of what they consider to be their best asset, adopting the slogan "keeping it real". Continued...