The first Kazakh athletes headed to South Korea for the 23rd Winter Olympic Games. The Kazakh flag will be raised on February 7th in Gangneung’s Olympic village. The hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating and short track speed skating competitions will be held in the Olympic Village. The national team of Kazakhstan has already received approximately 60 licenses.

SERIK ZHARASBAYEV, SPOKESPERSON, KAZAKH MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS:

- We plan to take part in 9 different sports. Our athletes have completed the necessary training camps. They took part in all licensing processes and final stages of preparation for the Olympic Games. They completed in-depth medical examination which was instructed by qualified personnel, specifically, doctors, masseurs, psychologists and consultants.

In 1994, in Lillehammer legendary skier Vladimir Smirnov gave a speech and Kazakhstan won a gold medal in the Olympic Games. The athlete’s achievement is a good example for the Kazakh participants to take part in the Winter Olympics. In this season the biathlon athletes won a maximum number of licenses. Galina Vishnevskaya, leader of the women's team, shows good results. However, everyone has a chance to leave a mark in the Olympic history. For example, figure skater Denis Ten took the ninth place after the short program in Sochi, however, the following results of an arbitrary he became an Olympic bronze medalist. According to the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports, we can expect a number of medals since the Kazakh athletes are doing well.

SERIK ZHARASBAYEV, SPOKESPERSON, KAZAKH MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS:

- This season is full of good performances. Alexey Poltoranin won mass start for the first time in his career. Our free style skiing contestants are doing well, too. These are Dmitry Reichard and Yulia Galysheva. They are doing quite well. For the first time in the Olympics we’ve got 3 licenses for figure skating.

The contestants will compete for 102 sets of medals in 15 different sports in the international championship in South Korea. 12 sports facilities located in the mountain and coastal clusters will host the competitions. The official opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics is scheduled for February 9th. Short-track tracer Abzal Azhgaliyev will carry Kazakhstan’s flag.

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