The International Olympic Committee will vote Friday on the host city for the 2022 Winter Games, choosing between Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Almaty, former capital of the ex-Soviet Republic in central Asia, is making its second Olympic bid, but this is the first time it has reached the final stage.
The voting will take place at the IOC session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Here’s a quick look at the Almaty bid:
Population: 1.6 million.
Previous Olympics: None.
Previous winter bids: 2014 (failed to make list of finalists).
Bid leader: Andrey Kryukov.
Venues: 10 existing or under construction.
Olympic Villages: 3.
Organizing committee budget: $1.752 billion.
Infrastructure budget: $4.5 billion, including projects not directly for Olympics.
Public Support: 85 percent in Almaty; 87 percent in Kazakhstan (IOC poll results).
Dates of games: To be determined.
Slogan: “Keeping it Real.”
Pros: Compact layout with venues within 18-mile (30-kilometer) radius; short travel times and distances; traditional winter setting with tall mountains and plenty of natural snow; use of existing venues; relatively low costs; young, emerging country — former Soviet republic — looking to establish itself on world stage.
Cons: Relatively unknown to IOC members; limited experience in hosting major international sports events; no Kazakh IOC members or natural support base; uncertainty over country’s future political and economic stability beyond President Nursultan Nazarbayev; IOC concerns over potential shortage of hotel rooms; air pollution; human rights issues.
IOC evaluation report: “Almaty’s Games concept offers a compact plan that makes good use of existing venues and the natural advantages of the nearby mountains.”
Status: Once a big underdog, now seen as a legitimate contender.