In less than 5 months, the Winter Olympics will kick off in Beijing. It is too early to predict the results of the performance of Kazakhstanis on them: the Olympic winter season-2021/22 has not yet begun, and the holders of Olympic licenses in many sports will be finally named only in January 2022.
In the meantime, the fans are impatiently awaiting the start of the winter competitions, the correspondent of Delovoy Kazakhstan found out what kind of funding the "winter roads" received, and how many licenses, according to preliminary data, our team already has in their pockets.
At the moment, according to very preliminary data, Kazakhstan already has 19 licenses in its assets. Of these, 6 in cross-country skiing (4 girls and 2 men), 2 in ski jumping (2 men), 1 in ski combined (1 man), 2 in alpine skiing (1 girl and 1 man), 5 in freestyle mogule (3 girls and 2 men) and 3 in freestyle acrobatics (2 girls and 1 man).
The current list of countries with quotas in skiing on the FIS website was last updated on 18 August and may be updated with the start of the season. In addition, there has not yet been a redistribution of quotas, and this gives great hopes that the number of our athletes in skiing will increase.
It is quite possible that in biathlon Kazakhstan will be represented by at least 4 athletes. The selection for the Olympics is based on the World Cup Nations Cup results, which includes the 6 best sprints, the best individual race, and 3 relay races. Kazakhstan in the 2020/21 season in the World Cup among men took 24th place, and among women - 19th (countries ranked from 11th to 20th have the opportunity to apply for Olympic biathlon competitions 4 athletes) Qualification period in biathlon lasts until January 2022 Representatives of skating sports - speed skating and short track speed skating - have yet to compete for Olympic licenses. The lists of participants in the Beijing Olympics will be formed based on the results of several stages of the World Cups in these sports, which will be held in October-November this year.
In figure skating, the names of the holders of Olympic licenses are already 90% known, it remains to find out who can take the only remaining passes in each of the disciplines at the Nedelhom Trophy tournament in Germany at the end of September. There will definitely not be our hockey players in Beijing-2022 - both the women's and men's teams could not qualify. It is unlikely that we will see our representatives in bobsleigh, snowboarding, and some freestyle disciplines.
But with luge sports, the situation is still not clear - we have the current bronze medalists of the 2020 Youth World Championship at the age of U-23 Andrei Shander and Semyon Mikov, whether they will be able to compete for Olympic licenses in Beijing-2022, we will definitely try to find out.
Is there any money?
The Committee for Sports and Physical Culture of the MKS RK, in response to our request, reported that an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan within the framework of the state order for the preparation of national teams in Olympic sports.
“In 2021, within the framework of the state order for the training of national teams in winter sports, 2,909.7 million tenge were allocated. The funds will be used to provide all teams with equipment, food, necessary equipment, medical supplies, as well as for travel expenses for Continental Championships, World Cups, World Championships, republican and international training camps and competitions, qualifying licensed tournaments for the Winter Olympic Games - 2022 year. These funds will be used to train all athletes of the full-time national teams in winter sports, ”the Committee replied.
The department responsible for sports told us that in connection with the pandemic that began in 2020, representatives of winter sports, as well as “summer athletes”, experienced some problems with preparation and travel to international competitions.
“Since the end of the 2020 winter season, there has been a worldwide lockdown. It should be noted that international winter sports federations did not hold competitions (World Cups, World Championships) from April to December 2020, therefore, no national team took part in the competition. National teams were unable to fully conduct training camps abroad. However, since June 2020, the NOC of the Republic of Kazakhstan has developed regulations and protocols for conducting training camps during a pandemic at domestic sports facilities, thanks to this, athletes are training, "the Committee noted.
Forecast for licenses The world has gradually got used to living in a pandemic, and the organizers of the competition have already learned how to hold them, minimizing the risks of COVID-19 infection. Therefore, there is hope that the ongoing qualification for the 2022 Olympics will go smoothly as planned.
"Kazakhstani athletes also like athletes from other countries, taking part in tournaments, they earn rating points to participate in the Olympic Games. The last licensed tournament will take place in January 2022. At the end of January 2022, the results of rating tournaments will be summed up and the number of licenses will be finally determined. It should be noted that before the Olympic Games-2022, our athletes plan to take part in about 50 licensed tournaments. Kazakhstani athletes will take part in qualifying competitions in cross-country skiing, biathlon, speed skating, short track, freestyle mogul, freestyle acrobatics and ski jumping, ”the Committee concluded.
At the previous Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018, Kazakhstan was represented by 46 athletes in 9 sports, the only medal - bronze, was won by Yulia Galysheva in the freestyle mogul.