Thursday, October 20, 2011 -
The leader of Turkmenistan on Wednesday opened three major projects in the capital Ashgabat dedicated to the country’s 20th anniversary of independence.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov first attended a ceremony to commission a highway with support roads and underpasses for the city’s residents.
The 3.1-mile stretch of road was reconstructed into a main artery, complete with four lanes in each direction with off-routes, according to a government press release published on Turkmenistan.gov.tm.
Next on the president’s itinerary for the day was a new shopping and entertainment center for children, located close by. Berdimuhamedov voiced his hope that the facility, equipped with a park area and a technomarket, which sells a range of IT equipment like laptops and computer games, would quickly become a hot favorite for children.
A short walk later found the president at a newly-constructed winter sports complex.
Berdimuhamedov attended the inauguration inside the arena, packed to capacity by Turkmen citizens. Circus artists, figure skaters and singers put on a show to a crowd of around 10,000 people, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported.
Turkmenistan has never participated in a Winter Olympics but hopes to send athletes to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city Sochi.
The leader of the ex-Soviet country has ordered construction of dozens of sports venues of all kinds, as well as sports schools and recreational centers around the country, in order to realize his vision of a healthy population.
Plans for more than 200 schools for sports and 100 sports facilities are on the drawing boards.
Turkmenistan gained independence from the disintegrating Soviet Union in 1991.