With international sporting events in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, authorities in Kazakhstan are anxious about their chances to land the Winter Olympics in 2022.
Kazakhstan’s commercial capital, Almaty, is fighting it out with Beijing for the right to stage the 2022 Winter Olympics. Almaty had been widely considered the underdog in the battle for the games until it scored points with a strong presentation in Lausanne on June 9, wowing judges by stating the obvious: Almaty has snow in winter, while Beijing does not.
The image-conscious administration of President Nursultan Nazarbayev badly wants to win the hosting rights, seeing the Winter Olympics as a golden opportunity to burnish Kazakhstan’s international profile.
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Paul Bartlett is an Almaty-based freelance writer.