Chess Princess Joins Barys at People’s Favourite Ceremony

АбдумаликASTANA – Politicians, officials, business people, bohemia, and the media got together on Dec. 19 for the third annual ceremony of awarding prizes “People’s Favourite 2013”.

Numerous nominations included the best politician, pop star, official, journalist, blogger, businessman, public figure, political scientist, and online media were chosen. Overall, 367 nominees competed for 14 nominations.

Zhansaya Abdumalik, the 12-year-old Kazakh chess prodigy became the best athlete, or, rather the winner of nomination “Respect Sportsmen”.

Raimo Helminen, a coach of the Barys hockey club and an athlete who took part in six Olympic Games and Ilyas Omarov, president of the Sport Press Association handed over to Abdumalik a diploma and the newly minted People’s Favourite statuette, shaped in the “Like” sign of the Facebook fame.

At the ceremony, Helminen and Omarov asked Abdumalik, “Did you believe in Santa Claus when you were a child?”

She replied “Yes”, and Helminen, coming from the Santa Claus’ homeland of Lapland, presented her with a Barys jersey with her favourite number 12 and her last name.People's favourite

The voting for the People’s Favourite contest was held in two stages during the two months. At the first stage, people in Facebook and other social networks could put forward their nominees. The second stage took place at the official website of the National Award “People’s Favoruite 2013,” where four finalists who scored more votes in the first stage competed.

Galym Baituk, the president of the Respublika-Region-Razvitie public foundation, has been organising the contest for three years. This year, in addition to traditional organisational problems, he also had to contend with Astana’s first ever major blizzard this winter which disrupted travel around the country and in the city.