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Saudi Arabia Interested in Hosting 2029 Asian Winter Games

The Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee has expressed an interest in hosting the 10th Asian Winter Games at Trojena in Neom. Not everyone welcomes the move. UPDATED

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An official letter has been submitted even though the Trojena complex has not yet been built.

Trojena is part of the $500b Neom mega-city project that is aiming to be completed by 2026.

“The request to host the AWG affirms the geographical, environmental diversity and natural wealth that the Kingdom enjoys and is willing to share with our wider Asian Olympic family.

“We are very excited to welcome all Winter Sports enthusiasts in 2029, aiming to celebrate an incomparable experience in Trojena,” said the President of the Saudi Olympic Committee, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.

The area has mountains rising to more than 2,600m, but sees little natural snowfall.

Temperatures in the area drop below zero in winter and artificial snow will need to be made alongside the natural snow.

Trojena is situated 50 kms from the Gulf of Aqaba.

Facilities planned include a ski slope, hotels and other accommodation, shops and restaurants, watersports facilities, mountain biking and a nature reserve.

It claims it will attract 700,000 visitors and 7,000 permanent residents by 2030.

“The blue waters of the Red Sea, beauty of the Neom mountain ranges and the golden desert sand dunes will provide skiers a first-of-its-kind experience that combines these diverse environments with fun-filled and adventurous moments,” said a statement issued on behalf of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

If the bid is successful it will be the first time that the Asian Winter Games will be held in West Asia.

There has been some early reaction on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Graeme Michael Coleman – Eff off, winter games need to take place in a country that traditionally gets cold. Too much of, “oh everything needs to be equal” – no not at all, some places are better for some things than others. And those places that aren’t good for the first thin… See more

Aileen Eglington – So wrong…with their human rights and gender issues/records!
 
Paul Hourmont – Wouldn’t surprise me nowadays if they get it. Like China, a country rewarded for it brutal humans rights abuses.
 
Annie Gardner – Bribery gets you everything! Look at Qatar.
 
Carrie Polhill – Yay! Winter games on fake snow … what is the world coming to?!!

Around 30 countries are expected to take part.

The Olympic Council of Asia Executive Committee is scheduled to meet in Cambodia on October 4th, before the General Assembly, where the decision to grant hosting rights for 2029 will be made.

Image c/o PlanetSKI

 

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