POSTED: September 17th 2009

The Olympics will be in safe hands with Madrid

Madrid has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe / Image: Madrid 2016
Madrid has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe / Image: Madrid 2016

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

MADRID: Holding the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Madrid will guarantee the International Olympic Committee total peace of mind, says bid leader Mercedes Coghen.

“Security is a concern for everyone, everywhere,” says the 1992 Olympic gold medallist. “It is particularly so for major international sporting events where people come from all over the world to enjoy fantastic sport in great cities. 

"Safety and security is the bedrock of any event.  Nobody wants to be worrying about their personal security or whether the Games will be properly organised or financed. They simply want to concentrate on delivering their best performance or enjoying an amazing city. I believe that Madrid is the safest choice for athletes, visitors and the IOC to have a truly spectacular time in 2016.

“Madrid is a fantastic city and we have a huge amount of experience.  The city has held 250 international sporting events in the last ten years and over 1,000 other international events.  They have all passed not only without incident but with huge success and enjoyment.  We know we have everything it takes to make the 2016 Games one of the most memorable in history, just like the Barcelona Games proved in 1992."

The city is totally prepared for the Games. Face of the bid Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon has suggested that Madrid would actually be ready in time to host the 2012 Games. All the financing for the Games is guaranteed by the local and national governments and the bid already has around 70 corporate sponsors.  77% of the venues are already built and 100% of city infrastructure is in place.

One of the most recently opened venues, the Magic Box Tennis Stadium, hosted the Madrid Masters in May 2009 and was praised by world-famous sport star Rafael Nadal as being “spectacular”.

“We are completely sure that Madrid will be ready for the Games well ahead of schedule,” adds Mercedes.  “Because we will not have to worry about building venues or organising transport and accommodation we can concentrate on making a Games in Madrid full of even more fun, passion and excitement – values we are famous for anyway!”

Madrid is already known for its fiesta atmosphere. Long summer days under clear blue skies see people filling parks, gardens and streets to soak up the sun, culture and opportunities to shop.  Balmy nights allow locals and visitors alike to make the best of a truly 24-hour city, enjoying thousands of world class cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs in safety.

Mercedes adds: “The great thing about Madrid is that people can truly let themselves go, enjoying the city without any worries.  We have one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and people of all ages and nationalities can walk around any time, anywhere, and know that they will be safe. A Madrid Olympics would have 72,000 security officers speaking numerous languages.  Everyone will be welcome and everyone will be safe.”

“Like many other cities in the world, Madrid is not untouched by terrorism.  Our experience with this has made us stronger, both as people and in the ability we have to deal with any issues. We believe that we can guarantee safety, security, an amazing fiesta in one of the best cities in the world and a powerful, enduring legacy for generations to come.”

Madrid’s bid is represented by a multi-coloured hand and is known as The Games With The Human Touch.  “Our logo means many things”, says Mercedes.  “Partly it stands for reaching out to others, across continents and nationalities, across different sports and generations.  It also represents Madrid as the safest pair of hands for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”  

Keywords · Madrid 2016 · Olympic bid · Mercedes Coghen · Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon

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