The Almaty 2022 Winter Olympic bid will also involve the Kazakhstan capital of Astana, Kazakhstan’s president said.
“We would like everybody to hear that Almaty, Kazakhstan, intends to hold such giant Olympic Games,” Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev said, according to Trend News Agency. “On the other hand, people think whether these costs are worth it or not. I was thinking about this much and worked with colleagues. The Olympic Committee made a decision. It was agreed to hold the event in two cities, that is, Astana will be also involved.”
It’s not clear what kind of involvement Astana would have should Almaty be voted as 2022 Winter Olympic host city next summer.
Astana is 600 miles northwest of Almaty. Astana is larger in terms of total area, while Almaty has a greater population. Astana and Almaty shared hosting events at the 2011 Asian Winter Games.
The other 2022 bidder, Beijing, proposes holding mountain events in Zhangjiakou. Beijing and Zhangjiakou are separated by a little more than 100 miles.
This is not the first time an Almaty-Astana shared bid has been brought up. A Kazakh sports official proposed splitting events between the cities in October, but it was rejected by Kazakhstan’s National Olympic Committee, citing single-city bids in the Olympic Charter, according to insidethegames.
However, the International Olympic Committee approved changes to the bidding process two weeks ago, including allowing events to be held outside the host city or, in exceptional cases, outside the host country, notably for reasons of geography and sustainability.
The IOC will vote to determine the 2022 Winter Olympic host on July 31 in Kuala Lumpur.
Recent Winter Games were split with coastal and mountain clusters.
At the Sochi Olympics, mountain events were held in Krasnaya Polyana, separated from the Black Sea resort by about 25 miles.
At the Vancouver Olympics, mountain events were held in Whistler, about 75 miles away.