POSTED: March 26th 2009

Bid rivals put their 2016 dreams into words

No more networking . . . the lounge at Sportaccord finally emptied by the pulling power of the bid city presentations / lake images
No more networking . . . the lounge at Sportaccord finally emptied by the pulling power of the bid city presentations / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

DENVER: All the boxes have been ticked, speeches made, strengths underlined, weaknesses hidden and Obama quotes plagiarised: Yes they have! . . . the four 2016 Olympic bid cities all went head to head at Sportaccord.

The winner, however, will not be known until October 2. That is when IOC decides in Copenhagen which lucky city will pick up the highly-valued but intimidatingly highly-priced prize in this Year of Recession.

Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid – in that order – rolled out their cast list of bid leaders, civic grandees and athletes old and less than old, to state their case in front of more than 1,000 representatives of international sport and media.

If one single vote should have been swayed decisively by the series of 20-minute presentations it would have been not only surprising but disappointing. That, however, was not the point of the exercise in the conference arena at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Occasions such as Sportaccord provide bid organisers with an opportunity to go semi-public with their projects rather than peddle their schemes in semi-private, among the Olympic cognoscenti.

Common message

All four presentations underlined the challenge facing the 2016 bids in trying to find anything significantly new and/or different about their offerings.

All have to stress the “compact” nature of their venues map, their greener than green environmental credentials, their downturn-defying financial strength and their legacies of development programmes, sports care and social responsibility to ensure that something of the enormous Games investment is reinvested for the benefit of the community.

This is a tall order because no-one can predict the fluctuations of the economic roller-coaster over the next seven years - as London can testify - and the turn of both national and international events.

If the most striking visual images left by the presentations were those of Rio then that owes eerything to the simple natural advantages of the city’s location. But pretty television pictures are not the issue. Or should not be.

Chicago stressed its great sporting tradition, Tokyo its vision of a Games for heroes, Rio its financial security and Madrid its human touch.

So to Copenhagen they may all take the audacity of hope . . . so to speak.

Keywords · Olympic Games · 2016 · IOC · Rio de Janeiro · Chicago · Tokyo · Madrid

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