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February 3, 2011
Iran bags first ever Asian Games cross country medal

FIRST TASTE OF BRONZE Bijan Kangarloo (right) on the podium at the 2011 Winter Asian Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo/ Payam Nazar
by Payam Nazar, AIPS Member
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ALMATY, February 3, 2011 - Iranian skier Bijan Kangarloo is celebrating nothing up his nation's first ever cross country medal - a bronze in the middle distance ski orienteering competition at the 2011 Winter Asian Games in Kazakhstan.

The young skier who lives in Canada took third place in front of 5000 spectators at the Akbolakh ski stadium in Almaty.

The host country came away with both gold and silver.

The Iranian National Cross-country ski team has three athletes representing Iran at the 7th Asian Winter Games and looks forward to more success in future events

The opening ceremony of the seventh Asian Winter Games took place in a massive new football stadium in the city of Astana. Over 30,000 spectators were in attendance, including the president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayez,, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Jacques Rogge and the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah.

The event kicked off by showcasing the history and culture of Kazakhstan. Soon afterwards, the parade of nations began where all 28 Asian countries marched into the stadium with their respective flags. Artistic performances followed with impressive dancing and acrobatics. The ceremonies ended with the lighting of the Asian Olympic torch.

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