POSTED: September 3rd 2009

Madrid 2016 gains momentum for final sprint to the finish line

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT  / Sports Features Communications

MADRID: After years of preparation, thousands of travelled miles and hundreds of thousands of written words, the race for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games has just one month left to go - and everything is still to play for. 

September 2, 2009, marked not only the start of the final month's countdown to the decision in Copenhagen, but the release of the International Olympic Committee evaluation commission report assessing the bids. 

The Madrid 2016 bid team was thrilled with the positive reaction to its bid and eager to demonstrate its ability to deal with the few issues raised.

The most widely praised aspect of the bid, throughout the report and in all international media, was the fantastic levels of public support that the bid team has generated across Madrid, Spain, and the world. 

Madrid is the Games With The Human Touch, the Games of the people, and this has been well acknowledged by the IOC.  As the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, said, “The people of Madrid and the whole of Spain overwhelmingly support the bid, as do the business community and the Royal Family.  We also have unanimous backing from all political parties and institutions”.

Madrid has been described as one of the best cities in the world in which to compete by numerous international sports stars, including Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt and the Real Madrid football star Cristiano Ronaldo. 

World-class venues

The passionate support given by sports-mad Madrileños is just one of the many reasons for this.  The compactness of Madrid’s plan was well noted in the evaluation commission report. 

Athletes and visitors alike will be able to walk between world-class sports venues and their central, luxurious accommodation, as well as exploring on foot all the internationally renowned culture, food, drink and entertainment that Madrid has to offer.

The bid team is keen to demonstrate its readiness to respond to any issues about its generally outstanding bid. 

"We're not always good communicators and we need to work on this", acknowledged bid team leader Mercedes Coghen.  However, not having the best presentation skills does not mean that the team does not represent the best bid. 

Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, said: “After reading all the report we can say we have the best bid.  All the aspects have been positively evaluated and I am sure that on October 2 Madrid will be successful."

Spain has already facilitated improvement in the bid since the Evaluation Commission visit in May, as new legislation has made the country one of the toughest in the world on doping.

Mayor Ruiz-Gallardon proudly said: “We appreciate any comments and suggestions, especially the critics, because we are proud to say that we can solve any of the negative aspects in the Evaluation Commission report before October. 

"There is no structural problem in the project or with any of our infrastructure, nor with any security and financial guarantees.  We are ready to show the IOC that Madrid can organise the best Games in history.” The IOC and the world are waiting.

Keywords · Madrid 2016 · Olympic Bid · Mercedes Coghen · Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón · Usain Bolt · Cristiano Ronaldo · Alejandro Blanco

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