POSTED: August 25th 2011

Qatar 2020 Olympic hopes hinging on discussions this afternoon

The stunning Aspire sports compound was home to the 2006 Asian Games / Aspire image
The stunning Aspire sports compound was home to the 2006 Asian Games / Aspire image

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

DAEGU: A possible Qatar bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games will be debated this afternoon by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board to discuss their proposal to change the Olympic calendar in their campaign to host the Games.

IOC president, Dr Jacques Rogge, said, “I will be listening to my colleagues and we will discuss this and talk about this decision. We will not issue a press release about this but communicate directly with the Qatar NOC.”

This is a last moment possibility as contenders in the 2020 bid race must become official by September 1 in less than a week.

The 2020 race for the Games already has Rome, Istanbul, Madrid, and Tokyo that have announced their candidatures to host the summer Games. It was expected that South Africa would step forward with a bid however the government did not back the NOC's request.

In fact IOC vice-president,Mario Pescante, in charge of the Rome bid and Sam Ramsamy, IOC member from South Africa, both requested to not sit in on the discussion.

The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) sent in their official request to move their proposal to host the Games from the July-August window to later in the fall October-November due to the heat.

Qatar recently won the FIFA World cup for 2022 and there has also been discussion to hold the Cup earlier in order to deal with the heat on the fans. Though Qatar has developed functional heating technology, there is still a big heat factor in regard to spectators moving around the country to see the matches.

Doha faced the same hurdle when they bid for 2016 and the major deal breaker with the bid was the request to shift the timeline to avoid high temperatures. This also affects water events too as water temperatures can be elevated with the climate.

US swimmer, Fran Crippen, died suddenly last fall while competing in the United Arab Emirates during a 6 mile swimming race in extraordinarily warm waters. His death was officially declared as drowning.  Also the heat affect could have seriously detrimental effects on the equestrian events and the safety of the horses in extreme competition in high heat levels.

The Olympics are a totally different kind of event than the FIFA World Cup with a larger number of elements to that require more logistics and planning.

Keywords · IOC · Doha · 2020 Games · Jacques Rogge

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Laura Walden ()

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