POSTED: February 13th 2012

Doha 2020: Bid offers an opportunity for growth in the Middle East

The Doha bid team consigned the official applicant file to Jacqueline Barret, IOC Head of Bid City Relations / Doha 2020
The Doha bid team consigned the official applicant file to Jacqueline Barret, IOC Head of Bid City Relations / Doha 2020

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: The Doha 2020 delegation was also early in to submit their applicant file to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the race for the summer Games.

Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, general secretary of the Qatar Olympic Committee and vice-chairman of the bid, led the delegation which included several athletes, as well as the bid’s Legal Director Tariq Falamazi, and Public Relations Director Mohammad Al-Othman.

Al-Thani submitted the file to Jacqueline Barrett, IOC Head of Bid City Relations, and said, “It is a proud moment to be delivering the Doha 2020 Applicant File to the IOC Headquarters here in Lausanne. 

"A huge amount of work has gone into its production and I believe its contents are very strong.  We look forward to making its contents public soon and continuing to build on our campaign to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the Middle East for the first time.  

“Our Applicant File contains a strong hosting plan that is based on many existing venues and a number of planned facilities.  It also outlines an exciting legacy vision focused on building opportunities for Olympic sports in the region and growing participation across the Middle East – especially among girls and women.  2020 is a historic opportunity to grow the Olympic Movement in a new region and our Applicant File is a crucial step in our ambition to turn this opportunity into reality.”   

The Doha bid was supported by three key athletes who made the trip over to the IOC.

Ali Al-Mass, Para Athlete, said: “Being here in Lausanne at IOC headquarters makes the Doha 2020 ambition seem even more real.  If Doha is given the honour to stage the Games, it would give an amazing boost to the profile of paralympic sport across the Middle East and inspire people with disabilities in our region to take up sport.” 

A ‘send-off’ event for the delegation took place yesterday at the Doha International Airport.

Nada Arkaji, 2011 Doha Arab Games swimmer, said “It is a great honour to be travelling to the International Olympic Committee as part of the Doha 2020 delegation at such an exciting time for sports in the Middle East.  I competed at the 2011 Arab Games hosted in Doha and that was a wonderful experience to compete in front of my home fans. 

“Sport has changed my life and I know that if the Olympic and Paralympic Games were to come here, to a region that has never had the honour of hosting the world’s greatest sporting event, many more young lives across the Arab World would be changed for the better.” 

Nasser Al-Attiyah, four-time Olympian shooter and international rallying champion, said “I have had the great privilege of competing at four Olympic Games and seen first-hand their transformational impact and how they can inspire more young people to participate in sport. 

"If Doha were to be given the honour of hosting the 2020 Games, I believe there is a wonderful opportunity to get many more young people across the Middle East playing sport and inspired by Olympic values.”

Keywords · Doha 2020 · Olympic bidding · Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani · Jacqueline Barrett · Ali Al Mass ·

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