The National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan have held several sporting events and activities to mark their Olympic Day in support of Almaty’s bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The cities of Almaty, Astana, Shymkent and Oral all staged festivities and celebrations, which gave more than three million people the chance to participate in sport events and other activities and were organised by the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan and Ministry of Culture and Sports.
In the larger areas of the country, cycling marathons were organised and participated in by local Mayors, after which residents were then able to take part in various sports including wrestling, tennis, sumo fight and street ball.
In Almaty, which is bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics along with Beijing, 10 student volunteers presented a 50 square metre flag depicting the Almaty 2022 logo in a show of support and solidarity for their attempt to bring an Olympic Games to the country for the first time.
The day was attended by prominent Kazakh athletes, including London 2012 welterweight boxing gold medallist Serik Sapiyev, freestyle wrestling bronze medallist Gusal Manurova and Yuriy Melnichenko, a double world and Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling.
“Olympic Day is essential part of sport strategy in Kazakhstan as it draws attention to Olympic values and to the true essence of sports,” Vice-Minister of Culture and Sports of Republic of Kazakhstan Saken Mussaibekov said.
“We celebrate this historic day with pride, because Kazakh people are proud of their sports heritage.
“We will celebrate the Olympic Day embodying the true Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, focusing on the understanding and implementation of these basic principles.
“This year it will be even more special as we are in contention to host the biggest winter sports event - Almaty is in final race to host Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022 - and this honours us and gives reason to our efforts to further implement and root sports as a daily custom in Kazakhstan.”
The 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games host city is due to be decided at the 128th International Olympic Committee Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31.
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