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  • Bidding for the Games -- Kazakhstan Applies; Turkish Official Rip Protesters


    08/20/13

    Almaty believes hosting the Asian Winter Games prepared the city for an Olympic bid. (Getty Images)
    Kazakhstan Submits for 2022

    What’s been rumored for months became official last week when Kazakhstan filed an application to host the Winter Olympics in 2022.

    Erlan Kozhagapanov, the nation’s Chairman of the Agency for Sports and Physical Education, confirmed the speculation in an interview with BNews.kz.

    “Yesterday, Almaty City Administration and the Olympic Committee held the first meeting,” Kozhagapanov said on Friday. “A decision to make an application for 2022 Winter Olympic Games was done in Almaty.”

    The office claims Almaty has many of the facilities already in place after having co-hosted the Asian Winter Games in 2011. Their co-host two years ago, Astana, will almost certainly play a large role in an Olympic bid as well.

    Though the two cities are separated by over 1,200 kilometers (745 miles), Almaty is the country’s largest city, while Astana is the capital. At over 2.7 million square kilometers, Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked nation in the world and the ninth-largest overall.

    It is unknown whether the Gezi Park protests will affect Istanbul's bid. (Getty Images)
    Turkish Minister Rips Protesters

    Istanbul is still very much in the running for the 2020 Summer Olympics, but, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, that did not stop a Turkish official from assigning a scapegoat in the event the bid falls short.

    “Those who caused a scene at Taksim’s Gezi Park applied twice to drop Istanbul’s candidacy, and requested Istanbul to be dropped off the candidates list. Thank God they couldn’t succeed,” said EU Minister Egemin Bagis.

    “If Istanbul loses, it will be because of them.”

    The comments brought a strong response from Emine Ulke Tarhan, the Republican People’s Party deputy. Tarhan accused Bagis of “attempting to camouflage a possible failure.”

    The host of the 2020 Games will be determined on September 7 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires. Along with Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are finalists as well.

    Reported by Nick Devlin

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