POSTED: February 19th 2012

Zabell: This time the sportsmen are on the front line for Madrid 2020

Double gold medal Olympian sailor Theresa Zabell / Madrid 2020
Double gold medal Olympian sailor Theresa Zabell / Madrid 2020

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: recently had the chance to catch up with Madrid 2020’s new International Relations CEO Theresa Zabell, who attributes the strength of this new bid to bringing sportsmen and athletes to the front line.

Zabell said, “This new bid is different from the last one in that it was driven by the town hall and this time it is being steered by the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) so there is a lot more involvement from the sporting world.

“The president of the Spanish Olympic Committee is the president of the bid, for the first time in the other two occasions the head was the Mayor of Madrid. This time we have tried to build a team of people that are very involved in the sporting world. There are six members of the working team that have been Olympians and even Olympic medallists.

Zabell feels that this new approach will give Madrid an edge and she explains, “When you bring in people from the world of sport it makes it easier and more familiar for the people that have to receive your message.

“I think if you had to pass over a message to the scientific world, the easiest way would be to find people from the scientific world to do so. The same relates to the political world you would need politicians. It is therefore not illogical to think that if we had to pass over a message to the sporting world, in this case the IOC, then people directly involved are the nearest ones to pass on the message.

“If we look back London had a very sporting related team, Rio had the same, so I think this is the conclusion that we have come to. This doesn’t mean that we are not backed up by the political organizations, we have 100% support. But they wanted us to be at the forefront this time.”

Zabell won her first gold medal on native waters at the Barcelona Games in '92 then went on to Atlanta '96 and now wants to bring that precious experience of winning medals at home to all Spanish athletes.

Her favorite mascot is "Cobi, due to nostalgic reasons –together with Patricia Guerra, I won the gold medal in the 470 Class in the Barcelona 92 Games."

Keywords · Theresa Zabell · Madrid 2020 · IOC · Olympic bidding · Spanish Olympic Committee

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