By James Crook

Almaty has submitted a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and ParalympicsAugust 16 - Almaty has submitted a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the Kazakhstan National Olympic Committee (NOC) has announced.

"This is just the first stage where we express our willingness to host the Games," Pavel Novikov, vice-president of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, told

"Starting from the second stage we will have to work more seriously on the application.

"We believe we have a good chance of getting to the second stage."

Almaty was a contender to host the 2014 Winter Games but failed to make the short list of finalists as the Games eventually went to the Russian city of Sochi.

The former Kazakhstan capital also indicated an interest in bidding for the 2018 Olympics, which ultimately went to Pyeongchang in South Korea.

Almaty is expected to face strong competition from the likes of Barcelona, Lviv, Oslo, Munich and Kraków in the bid race.

The decision on which city will host the Games in 2022 is set to be made at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015.

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