POSTED: July 7th 2009

Madrid bridging Europe and Africa for ANOCA

(L to R) Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, Mercedes Coghen, Dona Pilar de Borbon, and Alejandro Blanco / Image: Madrid 2016
(L to R) Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, Mercedes Coghen, Dona Pilar de Borbon, and Alejandro Blanco / Image: Madrid 2016

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: The Madrid 2016 bid team is at the ANOCA general assembly supporting their concept to the NOCs to bridge the gap between Europe and Africa. 

Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, headed the delegation and spoke to the assembly informing them of the Spanish Government’s promise to help Africa and the continent’s relations with Europe.

Spain will assume the presidency of the European Union in early 2010 and the Mayor noted that that the country wished to be “a bridge to unite Africa and Europe, as we have always been throughout our history”. There has also been a tenfold increase in economic aid to Western Africa.

Gallardon was joined by HRH Dona Pilar de Borbon, Alejandro Blanco, President of the Spanish IOC; Spanish IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr; and Madrid 2016 bid chief, Mercedes Coghen.

The President of the Spanish NOC, Blanco, explained that should Madrid win the bid they planned to offer installations to the African NOCs for high performance training.

“Many of your athletes are already using our venues,” he said. “I truly believe that Spain, through its climate and atmosphere, is the best option for competing, training, and having fun.”

One other way for Spain to reach out to the African continent is through the second Champions for Africa match to be held in September. This will take place between the friends of Sevilla Kanouté and a combination of Madrid 2016 professional footballers to raise funds for UNICEF programmes in Africa.

Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., emphasized the fact that Madrid 2016 enjoyed the support of 93% of the citizens’ backing, there was solid financing, advanced infrastructure and a track record of hosting over 400 international level sporting events.

Madrid is vying with Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo to host the 2016 Games. The vote will be decided at the IOC Session and Congress on October 2nd in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Picture above right: Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon led the bid delegation at Abuja / Image: Madrid 2016

Keywords · Madrid 2016 · Olympic Bids · Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon · Dona Pilar de Borbon · Alejandro Blanco · Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr · Mercedes Coghen

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