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By The Numbers: Almaty's Winter Olympics Bid

  • Charles Recknagel

The Olympic logo for Almaty, which hopes to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Some say the city derives its name from the Kazakh word for "apple" and the surrounding region is believed to be the ancestral home of the now widely cultivated fruit.

The Olympic logo for Almaty, which hopes to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Some say the city derives its name from the Kazakh word for "apple" and the surrounding region is believed to be the ancestral home of the now widely cultivated fruit.

What would make Almaty's hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics a historic milestone? How many minutes would it take athletes to travel to most competition areas? Here's a rundown of the answers to these and other questions ahead of the July 31 decision on whether Almaty or Beijing will host the games.

0 -- The number of Central Asian countries that have been chosen to host an Olympic Games. Kazakhstan would be the first if it is chosen for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It would also be the first Muslim-majority country to ever host any Olympics. The city co-hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games with Astana, the Kazakh capital, and will host the 2017 Winter Universiade, an international competition for student athletes.

1 -- The number of official slogans adopted for the 2022 Winter Olympics by the city of Almaty and National Olympic Committee of Kazakhstan. The slogan -- "Keeping It Real" -- emphasizes Almaty's winter setting of tall mountains with plenty of natural snow coverage, as compared to rival bidder Beijing's need to rely on artificial snow. The wording is also pithier than Beijing's proposed slogan: "Joyful Rendezvous Upon Pure Ice And Snow." If Almaty hosts the games, "Keeping It Real" would have to compete for its place in history against other catchy Winter Olympics slogans of the past. They include Seoul's "Harmony And Progress" in 1988, Salt Lake City's "Light The Fire Within" in 2002, and Sochi's "Hot. Cool. Yours" in 2014.

2 -- The number of times Almaty has bid to host a Winter Olympics. The first was for the 2014 games, but those went to Sochi. The second is for the 2022 games.

6.2 -- Almaty says it is ready to spend a total of $6.2 billion for the Winter Olympics, including $4.5 billion for infrastructure projects the city says it plans to build with or without the games. That compares to an estimated $51 billion spent by Russia for the Sochi Winter Olympics, the largest amount ever spent on the games.

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Russia's massive overfunding was widely criticized internationally amid allegations of rampant corruption and the International Olympic Committee demanded that candidates for future games show they can host the event without giant budgets and massive construction projects. Almaty says it would have to build just two new venues (including a 12,000-seat ice arena) for the games. All other venues would be refurbished and expanded versions of existing facilities, some of which date to the Soviet era, or would be facilities Almaty already plans to build for the 2017 Winter Universiade.

PHOTO GALLERY: Almaty's Olympic Bid

24 -- The number of years Kazakhstan has been ruled since independence by former Soviet party boss Nursultan Nazarbaev. He is regularly criticized by human rights groups for jailing opposition figures and for tight controls over freedom of expression, including police breaking up peaceful protests as small as one or three people.

30 -- The maximum number of minutes the Kazakh Olympic Committee says it would take to travel from Almaty to most competition venues in the nearby Tian Shan mountain range, in whose foothills the city nestles.

53 -- The average number of days it snows in Almaty each year.

4,000 -- The altitude -- in meters -- of the mountain peaks around Almaty.

1,600,000 -- The population of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest financial and business center and the capital of the country until it was moved to Astana in 1997.

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