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This isn't the Clash of Civilizations and you aren't Samuel Huntington. I think IOC voting is done on a more personal level than you suggest.

Never said it was a clash of civilization and I'm not sure why you feel the need to inform me I'm not Huntington - I'm pretty sure that's obvious seeing as he's been dead for 6 years. No need to try and be insulting.

As for IOC voting, I simply disagree. If you look at the list of IOC voting members you'll see that not only are a majority now from developing/non-European countries. You'll also notice that many of them are politicians who hold positions of power in the country they are from. In such cases, voting is inherently political - IOC members are not IOC members alone, they are also representatives of their countries and - in most cases - the governments of their countries. While this varies from individual to individual, most are political office holders whose position in their home-state will have tremendous influence on their votes. Given that many of the cries for more inclusive games and for hosting the games outside of Europe are coming from athletes and political leaders in the developing world, not much of a stretch to see many of these people voting in ways that generally follow the interest of their state.

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Which is exactly the problem with the IOC as a whole: they own the biggest sports competitions in the world and should always be interested in putting sports interests first. But since many members have other agendas - which might even be hidden - we get a place like Sochi to host Winter Games.

An IOC member from, e.g. Djibouti, shouldn't have any interest in Winter Games anyway, at least not in the sense of "what bid city would be most beneficial for Djibouti". But the selection process is debated elsewhere...

Among your pro-Almaty arguments, you seem to suggest that China will push it once Beijing is out because they have stakes in Kazakhstan. I don't think they will. Whether Beijing goes out before Almaty is debatable anyway, but if they do, I think the Chinese will be keen to get the host as far away from China as possible as they themselves have a clear interest in hosting themselves. And if they fail in 2022, they are likely to try for 2026 again, with little chance of success if Almaty gets 2022 (even more so right after another Asian host in 2018).

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Which is exactly the problem with the IOC as a whole: they own the biggest sports competitions in the world and should always be interested in putting sports interests first. But since many members have other agendas - which might even be hidden - we get a place like Sochi to host Winter Games.

An IOC member from, e.g. Djibouti, shouldn't have any interest in Winter Games anyway, at least not in the sense of "what bid city would be most beneficial for Djibouti". But the selection process is debated elsewhere...

Among your pro-Almaty arguments, you seem to suggest that China will push it once Beijing is out because they have stakes in Kazakhstan. I don't think they will. Whether Beijing goes out before Almaty is debatable anyway, but if they do, I think the Chinese will be keen to get the host as far away from China as possible as they themselves have a clear interest in hosting themselves. And if they fail in 2022, they are likely to try for 2026 again, with little chance of success if Almaty gets 2022 (even more so right after another Asian host in 2018).

I agree in regards to the problems with the IOC - the membership determinants are awful, unfair, unrepresentative and help politicize what is already the most political sporting event in the world.

But the fact remains that the make-up of the 115 IOC voters is a mishmash of national identities, with individuals chosen by varying metrics - some are simply former medal winners or notable figures within sport - and particularly Olympic - history, but most are politicians of several different types -- some due to their nobility (princes and princesses from Europe's Constitutional Monarchies, sheikhs from Middle Eastern states, etc); some are sport-politicians (i.e. have partisan affiliations and are appointed or elected to a governmental office dealing with sports - whether as part/head of an agency or entire ministry or simply as an individual 'goodwill ambassador' type of position), some are simply politicians without qualification.

The turnover is rather high, with 27 new members - and therefore losses of 27 different members - appointed over the past 4 years. Yet, some serve on the IOC for decades (the longest serving member is a Russian who has been on the IOC since 1971).

In terms of nationality, the roughly 40% of members appointed before the late '90s are interesting, and quite different from the nationalities of those appointed since 2001. For these longer-serving IOC members, European nationalities are over-represented (both relative to later appointments and relative to their percentage of the population). Traditional powers of the 1970s - 1990s are represented: The US and Russia each have 4 members (some are newly appointed but the equal number of voters isn't accidental. Thailand has a vote, granted in 1990 at a time when the country was getting ready to begin a more democratic era and one of 9 developing countries never to have been colonized. Greece has a vote, of course. A smattering of the remnants of the European Aristocracy is represented by princes and princesses whose sole power these days is to vote on the IOC. Both Taiwan and Puerto Rico have had the same representative since the late '80's/1990. Many of the other longer-serving members come from traditional European powers (and not just sport powers). Pakistan, India, South Africa, Mexico all have someone representing their nationality - two nuclear powers, the most powerful state in Africa (and, interestingly, the only country known to have developed nuclear weapons, successfully tested them then give them up) and the strongest state between the US and South America (and former host country). Looking at more recent additions, the number of Europeans has gone down some as a percentage, but the developed countries as a whole are well represented. Several Arab states have at least one vote, including sheikhs from Kuwait and Qatar and a Princess from Saudi Arabia.

Recently, appointees have increasingly come from African countries such as Djibouti, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Gambia, Namibia, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire. Brazil has a presence, and Latin America has a few nationalities represented with voters from Colombia, Panama, Argentina. The Carribbean has some votes too - Saint Lucia and Arbua, for example. China has several votes and Southeast Asia has become very well represented with voters from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines (and Thailand as mentioned). India is represented, of course, as is Pakistan and - a bit more surprisingly - North Korea. Kazakhstan, too.

But it's clear that many of the new members are from a more diverse set of countries and are serving in semi-official or official capacities on behalf of their country.

It boils down to the decisions of these individuals; a group of individuals that is increasingly global in composition (I can understand questions about how many votes Africa should have in regards to the Winter Olympics, but I understand why the votes are distributed in the fashion they are). Since 2001 (?) the IOC has picked China, South Korea and Japan - all three have IOC members and SE Asian and India voters likely contributed to these choices. Russia received the games in a ridiculous location. Rio also picked up the games, despite South and Central America being what appears to be the most underrepresented set of countries. And yes, North America and Europe each got the Games once. But what the trend in appointtees to the IOC tells me is that an increasing number of people from former colonies and/or from Asia are now voting and the games have been given to Asian and developing countries. It rotates, but they seem interested in sending the games to places that are not Europe (or US/Canada/Australia). This same phenomena has been seen in voting patterns in other international institutions so there is reason to believe that their is a correlation, it does influence the outcome and the current makeup of the IOC has changed by 27 votes in 4 years with developing countries in Africa and Asia receiving many of these votes. Putin wanted these Olympics, in part, to show that Russia was still a power - that it was separate from the West and capable of managing its own affairs, that it had real influence. He has used the games to help push his domestic and international agendas. While we decry this in the west, Putin remains a popular figure throughout Russia and in many parts of the world. Many African states and Middle Eastern states have strong ties with Russia and now we have Sochi. Many have strong ties to China - and China became the 1st developing country to host (following the end of the Cold War at least). The choice of these countries isn't accidental - there isn't a magical 'right' country. The choice of host city is political. The IOC members do look seriously at the bids, I'm sure. But by the time these cities are short-listed it is because they are believed to be capable of hosting safe and entertaining games so the decision between them rides on other concerns.

Anyways, I rant too long. I see a trend, I believe the trend has many implications and I believe the institutions through which those trends will be filtered can help draw tentative conclusions regarding what could happen and what is likely to happen. I'm not convinced - at all - that Almaty will win. I am convinced that Almaty will be a much stronger contender than most in western countries believe at the moment.

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With all things considered, especially as of late, I seriously doubt that Almaty would even get short-listed come July. And the Executive Board will see to that (It'll be just Oslo, Krakow & Beijing. Still a good mix considering). Especially when you have members "alarmed" over the exodus of caliber cities & it's citizenry from wanting to bid. You don't see them all that concerned over "emerging nations" with deep pocket dictators from not showing up.

And now more than ever, for the sake of these boards, it'd be good if that was the case. Cuz yet another full year of these long-winded posts, that really don't mean anything in the grand scheme of Olympic things, is going to be too much to deal with.

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Kazakhstan: President suggests renaming the country

The president of Kazakhstan has apparently suggested changing the country's name, saying the "stan" at the end puts off tourists and discourages investors.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev floated Kazak Eli - or Kazakh Nation - as a possible alternative, the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency says. "Foreigners show interest in Mongolia, whose population is just two million people, and its name lacks the suffix 'stan'," he told a gathering of intellectuals, the website Eurasianet.org reports.
The huge, resource-rich nation has been through several rounds of name-changing already. In 1993, the capital Alma Ata became Almaty. Then four years later, the capital was moved across the country to an entirely different place called Akmola. In 1998, a year later, that city's name was changed to Astana.
But don't expect Kazakhstan to rename itself any time soon. Mr Nazarbayev - who has held power since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 - says such a change would only come about after a discussion with the people.

Source

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Kazakhstan: President suggests renaming the country

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Wow, that's will bring the stereotype of Borat in kazakh population.

Sorry, to kazakh population for the foreigners.

FYI, remember the argument we made around the dictators and big countries. At least in some cases, these leaders were more "serious".

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We will not be big spenders, says Almaty 2022 bid

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's Almaty, bidding to host the 2022 winter Olympics, has no plans to emulate the Sochi Games and will be spending only a fraction of what the Russians have invested, bid officials said on Thursday.

Almaty is making another run for the winter Games after failing to make the shortlist for the 2014 Olympics which were eventually awarded to Sochi.

The Russian Black Sea resort has pumped in about $50 billion in venue construction and wider infrastructure projects, making them the most expensive Olympics.

"It will be many, many times less," Andrey Kryukov, executive board member of the Kazakh Olympic Committee told reporters. "It will not be a big budget."

The Kazakh city, which according to Kryukov has about two-thirds of venues already in place, was initially seen as a long shot.

Since the withdrawal of Stockholm shortly after formally announcing a bid and the refusal of traditional winter destinations Germany and Switzerland to run, however, its chances have improved.

Almaty is up against Ukraine's Lviv, Norwegian capital Oslo, Poland's Krakow and Beijing.

With a shortlist to be decided in five months its chances could further improve. Mass protests in Ukraine are damaging Lviv's chances and a third successive Olympics in Asia is also unlikely, denting Beijing's hopes.

South Korea's Pyeongchang will host the 2018 winter Games and Tokyo will stage the 2020 summer Olympics, making Beijing an unlikely choice for 2022.

Krakow's bid could also face an uphill struggle as it plans to hold some events in neighbouring Slovakia and the International Olympic Committee is not keen to stage the event in two countries.

Norway's Oslo is struggling to convince the local population of the Games' benefits with a majority against staging the Olympics in the Scandinavian country according to a recent poll.

"We are going slowly," Kryukov said. "We are going year by year, hosting different competitions."

Almaty co-hosted the 2011 Asian winter Games with Astana and has also held Nordic combined World Cups as well as international ski jumping events.

"What are we missing? The Games," Kryukov said.

Reuters

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Yeah, they could conveniently say now that they could spend a "fraction" of what Sochi has, but it would still be a heck of a lot more than what Oslo would need to spend. And that still doesn't take care of the other issues that has made Sochi so controversial; corruption, lack of Human Rights, Games runned by a dictator, threat of terrorism, etc.

And I just love it how the article states that three Games in Asia is "denting" Beijing's hopes. Do they not know their geography? Unless Kazahkstan's leader is also planning to rename the continent they sit on, last time I checked, Almaty is also located in ASIA. Yeah, some could split hairs & say but it's "central" Asia but it's still Asia nonetheless. Just how the IOC's views the "Americas" as one, when they're technically TWO continents, I don't see why they would view Asia any differently when in reality, Asia is actually ONE continent.

And we don't know yet how the IOC would truly view Krakow's proposal. Considering the lack of compelling 2022 applicants, they should be more willing to look at their plan than just merely shrugging it off so easily like this article is portraying. The IOC isn't that black-&-white. Plus, Poland & Slovakia are both part of the E.U. which should make any logistical concerns easier to tackle versus two other countries that aren't that politically connected.

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“Our first bid was during the Soviet time and the second bid in 2006. From that time we have realised our plans, year by year we have built some infrastructures which we announced at that time.”

When was their Soviet era bid? I didn't think the Soviet Union ever made a winter bid.

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In 1989 the Soviets decided to make a WOG bid. Sochi won the internal race over Almaty and some Georgian city. But the breakup got in the way and no formal bid was ever made.

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Leningrad also had some preliminary plans to go for 1994:

St. Petersburg 1994 was one of the bids for the 1994 Winter Games, and was to be held in St. Petersburg and Kirovsk, Murmansk Oblast, USSR.

Wikipedia

Didn't go on to be candidate, but thy did produce a mascot: Leningrad, King Neptune mascot

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I knew about that one. I actually started a thread asking where their Alpine events would have been. Was that Kirovsk?

The same here. The Leningrad bid looks just ridiculous to me. What about snow cluster, especially that men downhill slope? Ural Mountains or what?

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Medeu would host the ceremonies.

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"Kazakhstan is the only one of the five countries bidding for 2022 that does not have an IOC member. The IOC has yet to vote for a host city without an IOC member in the country."

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The Medeo would require a major renovation, including an expansion and a roof over the spectators of at least 40,000 Seats.

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Same as Valle Hovin for Oslo. It needs a roof as well.

And the hockey stadium in Oslo needs a roof too :)

For Medeo I am more concerned about access and distance from Almaty. The road access would have to be upgraded.

Edited by hektor

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