POSTED: May 19th 2010

The Eternal City Rome is back in the race for the 2020 Summer Olympics

Mario Pescante: man on a mission to land the 2020 Games for Rome / Image: EOC
Mario Pescante: man on a mission to land the 2020 Games for Rome / Image: EOC

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA/ROME, May 19: The Italian capital Rome was chosen over Venice today by the Italian Olympic Committee as official candidate for the 2020 summer Olympics bid race.

The eternal city holds the legacy of hosting the 1960 Games and many of the original venues at the Foro Italico compound would be utilized for the 2020 plan. The candidature proposes a budget of $61m and will bank on the city’s rich sports history.

Rome lost the last candidature in 1997 to Athens for the 2004 Olympics.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has approximately 70 percent of the venues surrounding its main headquarters near the Tiber river. The facilities are reminiscent of the Mussolini era when the compoound was built with imposing statues and colorful mosaics in the aquatic venue. 

Well known is the 80,000 Stadio Olimpico soccer stadium which would be the centerpiece of the Olympic area.

Foro Italico also includes the beautiful tennis courts that are used for the Italian Open that takes place in early May every year.

The rest of the venues are envisioned to be contended at a new sports center in Tor Vergata which is currently under construction. This area is approximately 26 minutes by car on the Rome ring road from the Foro Italico. The main airport Fiumicino is also around 40 minutes by car to the Foro Italico area just north of the Vatican City.

CONI President Gianni Petrucci affirmed that the bid will enjoy the support and backing of the Italian IOC members. At the top of the list is Mario Pescante, IOC vice-president and strong backer of the previous Rome bid and energetic lobbyist for the successful Torino bid that landed the 2006  winter Games.

Petrucci told the press, “All of our top international sports people will be involved: Mario Pescante, Franco Carraro, Manuela Di Centa, Francesco Ricci Bitti and Ottavio Cinquanta. I will add to this list Raffaele Pagnozzi, the segretary general of the European Olympic Committees, Luca Pancalli, secretary general of the European Paralympic Committee.”

Rome could be in the running for 2020 against other cities that have expressed interest Durban, South Africa; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Tokyo or Hiroshima, Japan; Istanbul, Turkey; and Budapest, Hungary. The final vote will take place in 2013 for the winner.

Keywords · Rome 2020 · Mario Pescante · Gianni Petrucci · Mario Pescante · Franco Carraro · Manuela Di Centa · Francesco Ricci Bitti · Ottavio Cinquanta · CONI

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