2011 Asian Winter Games

VII Asian Winter Games
Host city Astana & Almaty, Kazakhstan
Motto Unity of purpose ‒ unity of spirit!
Nations participating 26[1]
Athletes participating 843[1]
Events 69 events in 5 sports
Opening ceremony January 30
Closing ceremony February 6
Officially opened by Nursultan Nazarbayev
President of Kazakhstan [2]
Athlete's Oath Nurbegen Zhumagaziyev (short track ice skating)
Judge's Oath Keith Gee Kay Fong
Torch lighter 7 Well known Kazakh athletes.
Main venue Astana Arena (Opening)
Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports (Closing)
Website Official website
<  Changchun 2007 Sapporo 2017  >

The 2011 Asian Winter Games was a multi sporting event that was held in Astana and Almaty, Kazakhstan and that began on January 30, 2011 and ended on February 6, 2011. It was the first time that Kazakhstan hosted such a large event since independence from the Soviet Union.[3] The documents for the hosting city were signed in Kuwait on March 4, 2006.[4]

Venues and financing

Astana Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov announced venues being built include a multipurpose Sports Palace which will seat up to 15,000 spectators, a ski jump complex, a biathlon stadium, and an athlete village.

Upgrades to existing venues included modernizing the Central Stadium, the B. Sholak Sports Palace, Medeo Skating Rink, and Shimbulak Ski Resort. The ski area was increased fivefold from the current 5 km to 65 km. In 2008 a gondola lift from Medeo Skating Rink to Shymbulak Ski Resort was planned to be completed, however, only in the summer of 2010 construction really started and was under serious time pressure. The Medeo Skating rink is an outdoor rink located in the Tian Shan Mountains, about a 30-minute drive away.[5]

Kazakh Minister of Sports Temirkhan Dosmukhambetov notes the 726 million USD for construction and renovation comes from the 2008 state budget. The Olympic village, on the other hand, will be financed by private investors. Overall, Kazakhstan is spending over $1.4 billion to get the area ready to host the games.[5]

Upgrades to the Almaty airport were finished by December 2008; transport issues are also being reviewed. Millions of KZT are being earmarked for work on main transportation corridors, overpasses, a ring road as well as investment in light rail transit between Talgar, Almaty, and Kaskelen. The plan also included purchases of city passenger buses, taxis, and possibly the construction of a subway.[6]

Almaty also upgraded its power supply network of substations and transmission lines. Expansion and reconstruction of heating systems was also recommended. A portion also got into environmental stabilisation.[6]

In 2008, both Medeo and Shymbulak Ski Resort were rebuilt in preparation for the Games. Vladimir Smirnov, deputy head of the national ski federation, said that the resort would soon be one of the largest in the world, which would increase the chances of a successful bid to host the Olympics.[7]

Medal table

Kazakhstan won the same amount of gold medals on the first day of the competition as it did in the entire 2007 games, topping the medal table for the first time. Iran and Kyrgyzstan won their first ever Asian Winter Games medals, Iran in ski orienteering and alpine skiing and Kyrgyzstan in bandy. 8 countries won medals the most ever at an Asian Winter Games.

  Host nation

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Kazakhstan (KAZ)32211770
2 Japan (JPN)13241754
3 South Korea (KOR)13121338
4 China (CHN)11101435
5 Mongolia (MGL)0145
6 Iran (IRI)0123
7 Kyrgyzstan (KGZ)0011
7 North Korea (PRK)0011


Location Venue[8] Sports Capacity
Astana Astana Arena Opening ceremony 30,000
Alau Ice Palace Speed skating 8,773
Kazakhstan Sports Palace (arena 1) Ice hockey 5,050
Kazakhstan Sports Palace (arena 2) Ice hockey 1,200
Saryarka Velodrome Short track speed skating, figure skating 8,000
Almaty Baluan Sholak Sports Palace Ice hockey, closing ceremony 5,000
Medeo Bandy 8,500
Sunkar International Ski Jumping Complex Ski jumping 9,500
Shymbulak Alpine Sport Resort Alpine skiing 3,000
Soldatskoe Valley Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Stadium Biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski orienteering 6,200
Tabagan Sport and Recreation Complex Freestyle skiing 2,250

Torch relay

The flame of the Games was officially lit at Kuwait Towers, Kuwait City on January 11, 2011.[9][10] The relay was officially start in Almaty on January 12, 2011 and span around the cities in Kazakhstan for 16 days before arrive at the opening ceremony on January 30, 2011.[11]

Date City[12] Length Number of
January 12 Almaty 11.7km 80[11]
January 13 Taraz 12km [13] 60[14]
January 14 Shymkent
January 15 Kyzylorda
January 16 Aktau
January 17 Atyrau
January 18 Oral
January 19 Aktobe
January 20 Kostanay
January 21 Petropavl
January 22–23 Kokshetau
January 24 Pavlodar
January 25–26 Oskemen
January 27 Taldykorgan
January 28–29 Karagandy
January 30 Astana

Sports Events

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each sport.[15]

Olympic sports Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton, Snowboarding, Curling and Nordic Combined will not be contested.

Bandy and Ski Orienteering were included for the first time in the Games, while curling and snowboarding was excluded from the list, ski jumping returns to the Games, after not being contested in the last Games in Changchun.

Participating NOCs[16]

26 countries have registered to take part and they are listed below, this is an increase of 1 from the 2007 games. Bahrain, Qatar and Singapore made their debuts,[17] while Macau and Pakistan did not compete after competing in 2007.

Non-Competing nations

One country only sent officials.


In the following calendar for the 2011 Asian Winter Games, each blue box represents an event competition, such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport were held.

 OC Opening ceremony   Event competitions  1 Event finals  CC Closing ceremony
January / February 2011 28th
Alpine skiing 2 2 2 6
Bandy 1 1
Biathlon 1 1 1 2 1 1 7
Cross-country skiing 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Figure Skating 1 3 4
Freestyle skiing 2 2 2 6
Ice hockey 1 1 2
Short track speed skating 2 2 4 8
Ski jumping 1 1 1 3
Ski orienteering 2 2 2 2 8
Speed skating 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Total gold medals 14 11 12 7 8 10 7 69
Ceremonies OC CC
January / February 2011 28th


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