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Kazakhstan proposes splitting 2022 Winter Olympics

Kazakhstan proposes splitting 2022 Winter Olympics
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev addresses the media in the Ukrainian presidential office in Kiev on Monday. (Mykola Lazarenko / Associated Press)

Just weeks after the International Olympic Committee voted to allow future Games to be divided between neighboring cities and countries, Kazakhstan has said it will pursue a split bid for 2022.

The city of Almaty is already a finalist for those Winter Games. President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Tuesday that some events would probably be staged in the capital of Astana.

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"We would like everybody to hear that Almaty, Kazakhstan, intends to hold such giant Olympic Games," Nazarbayev was quoted as saying by Trend news agency.

"On the other hand, people think whether these costs are worth it or not," he said. "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."

The IOC has allowed for split bids as part of a reform package that, among other things, hopes to reduce the expense of hosting.

Winter Olympics are often divided, with skating arenas in metropolitan areas and skiing events in the mountains. But, in this case, 750 miles separate the Kazakh cities.

Beijing is considered the early favorite to be named as host for 2022. The IOC will select a winner next summer.

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