POSTED: September 7th 2009

Coghen underlines legacy as Madrid 2016 bids to turn clock back

Mercedes Coghen: flying the flag / lake images
Mercedes Coghen: flying the flag / lake images

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

MADRID: Mercedes Coghen, leader of Madrid’s 2016 Olympic bid, has focused on the legacy issue as a reason the IOC should keep the Games in Europe for a second successive Olympiad.

Not since Helsinki, in 1952, followed London in 1948 have the Games been hosted twice in a row in Europe. Madrid had stressed its Latin appeal as one reason to be considered very different to London.

Coghen, ceo of the Madrid project, followed up by reiterating her belief in the powerful role sport can play in changing lives.

She said: “The sporting legacy that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would offer our city and the world for generations to come is at the heart of our bid for the Games with a Human Touch. The Madrid 2016 Olympic Project has already impacted on the lives of so many people in Madrid and it is something I personally and passionately believe in.”

Social impact

Last week’s evaluation commission report had positive and negative comments about the Madrid effort and among the positives was the legacy plan.

The report stated: “The Madrid 2016 plan, vision and sports concept is well-constructed, very compact. The social impact, through community sports programmes and post-Games use of the city-owned Olympic Village development entirely for social housing, is a significant feature of Madrid’s 2016 vision.”

Coghen responded by insisting that legacy was a fundamental part of the Madrid bid. She added: “The huge public support our bid has received goes to show how this is something that all of Spain believes in. We look forward to the opportunity to host the Games in 2016, to fully implement our Olympic legacy plans in Spain and beyond.

“Some 77 per cent of our venues are already built and all public venues will be available for public use after the Games.”

The IOC decides on the 2016 host in Copenhagen on October 2. Madrid's rivals are Chicago, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

Keywords · Madrid 2016 · Olympic Games · Mercedes Coghen · evaluation commission · IOC · legacy

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