Olympic Day Celebrated in Kazakhstan

Olympic Day in Astana was started with a race
Olympic Day in Astana was started with a race

Nearly three million people, in four of the biggest cities in Kazakhstan – Almaty, Astana, Shymkent and Oral (Uralsk) – had the chance to take part in the Olympic Day celebrations.

The event was organised by the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the respective city administrations and the Organizing Committee for International Sports events in Almaty city to support Almaty´s bid for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022.

Throughout Kazakhstan, an additional 25,000 people actively took part in festivities and competitions organized by the National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, to show their support for Almaty’s bid to host the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022.

In the biggest cities in the country, cycling marathons were organized and included the city Mayors competing, as well as in traditional Kazakh sports in Shymkent. The participants were watched and cheered by big crowds along the streets.

After the marathons and races were over, residents were able to participate in various activities like wrestling, tennis, sumo fight, street ball and workouts organized by the national sport federations and local sports clubs.

In Almaty, 10 students – representatives of the Kazakh volunteer movement – presented a 50 square meter flag with the Almaty 2022 bid logo to highlight the young generation’s support for the Olympic Movement and the Olympic Games.

The NOC of Kazakhstan, recognized by the IOC in 1992, has held Olympic Day events ever since. Beginning with some races of different distances, it now oversees a multitude of events throughout the country for the entire family, not just athletes, underlining this date as a very special day for Kazakh sports.

Mayors of all four respective cities also took part and showed solidarity and support for the Winter Olympic Games bid. Equally, prominent athletes such as Serik Sapiyev (2012 London OG gold medalist in boxing), Gusal Manurova (2012 London OG bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling) and Yuriy Melnichenko (Double World Champion, and Olympic champion in Greco-roman style wrestling) all showed full support for the 2022 Almaty bid.

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Rakesh Raman