Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By Duncan Mackay

July 13 - Madrid officially announced that it will bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, hoping to replicate Pyeongchang's perseverance in winning on a third consecutive attempt, the city's Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón said today.

Ruiz-Gallardón confirmed the Spanish capital's candidature - first predicted by insidethegames in February - at a press conference today following their unsuccessful bids for the 2012 and 2016 Games, when they were beaten by London and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

He was accompanied by the Socialist municipal group's spokesman, Jaime Lissavetzky, the Sports Minister during Madrid's last bid, and the Deputy Mayor Manuel Cobo.

Madrid is the second city to confirm that they will bid for 2020 joining Rome in a race that is also expected to feature Istanbul and Tokyo and possibly Doha and Durban.

"Madrid is submitting a bid because it thinks it has not just a chance but a great probability of securing the Olympic Games," said Ruiz-Gallardón.

"The city of Madrid has the support of institutions and the sporting world to secure the Olympic Games for our city."

The Mayor claimed the cost of the campaign to bring the Olympics to Madrid would be half that of the previous two bids because much of the work had already been done.

Madrid's failed bid for 2016 cost the city €37.8 million (£33.3 million/$53.6 million).

Ruiz-Gallardón also promised that his city would not spend any money on infrastructure before being chosen.

Spain is one of the European countries most severely affected by the current economic crisis.

"Our obligation is to look to the future and not be short-sighted," said Ruiz-Gallardón.

"We're convinced by then [2020] that Spain will have gotten through the economic crisis and be in fine shape to host.

"The already completed work means the cost of the 2020 bid will be significantly reduced.

"It would also provide an economic boost and reactivate the economies of Madrid and Spain."

Ruiz-Gallardón said he believed there would be enough time to complete the infrastructure between the decision date and the Games, estimating that Madrid already had 80 per cent of it in place.

"Madrid has finished an extremely high percentage of the infrastructure needed for the organisation of the Olympics and Paralympics and can count on the experience of the previous two bids and the recognition of the Olympic family," he said.

The example of Pyeongchang, which were last week awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics following their third consecutive bid, has helped inspire Madrid.

"All our work will focus on convincing the 100 IOC members that our project will be the winner deserves to be based on criteria of efficiency and professionalism," said Ruiz-Gallardón.

It will be Madrid's fourth bid for the Olympics.

They lost out on the 1972 Games at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Rome, polling 16 votes against Munich, the winners with 31.

At the IOC Session in Singapore in 2005 they were knocked out in the third round but it is widely accepted that if they had survived that hurdle and faced London in the final round they would have won because they would have polled more support from Latin America than Paris did.

Four years later they did reach the last round at the IOC Session in Copenhagen but were comprehensively beaten by Rio de Janeiro, who got 66 votes to Madrid's 32.


The bid must still be approved by the Madrid city hall and the Spanish Olympic Committee, which then has to present it to the International Olympic Committee before September 1.

Both are expected to be formalities and Madrid hopes to officially deliver its bid to the IOC in Lausanne on July 29.

Lissavetzky lent his support to the 2020 effort.

"There will be less money spent and absolute transparency in all costs," he said.

"We're thinking about Madrid and its citizens.

"It's a great opportunity to start an economic movement, it's a great opportunity for Madrid and a great opportunity for Spain."

Madrid is set to be joined in the near future by Istanbul after Turkey's Sports Minister Suat Kilic told CNN-Turk television that his country was set to meet all the requirements for hosting the Games.

"Inshallah (God willing), we will bid and fulfil requirements to the letter," Kilic said.

A final decision is expected to be made after meeting between the Turkish Olympic Committee and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"We are one of the rare countries that can shoulder the financial burden of the Olympics," Kilic said.

Istanbul mounted four consecutive failed bids, for the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

But there will be no bid from Paris following Annecy's disastrous performance in the race for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) met to review the Annecy bid and said "there will not be a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics".

Annecy were humiliated as they received only seven votes.

France is now expected to prepare for a bid for 2024, which would mark the centenary of the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

"The French Committee will define the conditions for a future project by the end of 2011," it said in a statement.

"A new Olympic bid must have the vision of the sports movement for the sport of the future.

"It must be worked out sufficiently in advance and be carried out in total harmony by the sports movement, the bid city and the state."

Contact the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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