Almaty Mayor Says Hosting Olympics Would Be Profitable

Almaty City Akim (Mayor) Akhmetzhan Yessimov said during a Dec. 19 Central Communications Service briefing that hosting the Winter Olympics in Almaty in 2020 would be profitable for the city and that only one new structure would have to be built if the city is chosen to host the 2020 games.

Yessimov said that unlike Sochi, which had to build almost all its Olympic venues from scratch, Almaty already possesses almost all of the infrastructure it needs to host the games.

“I have recently reported that two palaces of sports and an athletic village will be constructed in light of the coming Universiade 2017. Thus, only a bobsleigh track has to be build for the 2022 Winter Olympics. All other objects are provided,”explained Yessimov.

The city’s existing major sports venues, such as the Shymbulak Ski Resort, Medeu Skating Rink and the Palace of Sports, were reconstructed and modernised in preparation for the 2011 Asian Winter Games. Modern ski and biathlon tracks, as well as what is considered to be one of the three best ski jumps in the world were built for the 2011 games.

Yessimov also noted that the issue of high costs was discussed during a visit to Almaty in the fall by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

“I asked him if it was true that the organisers of the Sochi Olympics made a profit. He said yes – the operating expenses were fully paid off and the organisers have even had a profit. I would say all winter Olympic Games are profitable,”Yessimov said.

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