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Denis Ten is interviewed at the Almaty 2022 press conference on Thursday.
Ten: Almaty Winter Olympics would be 'unforgettable'

20 Feb 2014

Sochi, Russia: Kazakhstan’s Winter Olympics hero, Denis Ten, believes the Sochi Games have been a ‘tremendous’ celebration of sport and unity among athletes and countries of the world. Speaking at a press conference of Almaty 2022 - applicant city for the Winter Olympics - on Thursday, Kazakhstan’s figure skating bronze medallist paid tribute to the authorities and organisers of Sochi 2014.

“I am incredibly happy to be here today,” said the Almaty-born Ten, Asian Winter Games champion in Kazakhstan in 2011. “I think this has been a tremendous sports festival and a spectacular example of how an entire region can be changed and transformed through sport.

“I would like to thank the Russian government, International Olympic Committee, the National Olympic Committee of Russia and the organizing committee for this well organized sports festival in which friendship has united the countries.”

Ten said he started skating at the famous open-air Medeo ice rink in the mountains just outside Almaty when his mother took him there at five years old. “I never imagined that one day I would win a bronze medal in the Olympic Games and be representing my country at a press conference as they bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics,” he added.

Ten said a Winter Olympics in Almaty would be “unforgettable” for the youth and the country in general. The Chairman of the Agency of Physical Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Tastanbek Yessentayev, described Ten’s bronze medal-winning performance as “brilliant” and a “huge victory” for Kazakhstan.

“This is not just an Olympic Games medal, it is the first Olympic medal in figure skating in the history of Kazakhstan,” he said. “He will be wildly popular and will get support from all over the world, not just in Kazakhstan. I hope that figure skating will flourish in Kazakhstan.”

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