POSTED: May 24th 2012

SportAccord: Three elated cities now prepare for new candidatures

All three cities: Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo posed together for photos after the announcement / Tokyo 2020
All three cities: Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo posed together for photos after the announcement / Tokyo 2020

LAURA WALDEN in QUEBEC / Sports Features Communications

May 24 – The three cities that were shortlisted to go forward in the 2020 campaign joined for a brief moment at the SportAccord convention to congratulate eachother before they flooded out the door to meet the swarms of international sports press. Then it is back to being rivals until the final vote next year in Buenos Aires to choose a host city for the 2020 summer Games.

Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo will now move on to become actual candidate cities after the decision yesterday. Baku and Doha were both cut out of the campaign the same as last time for the 2016 bidding phase.


Turkish businessman, Hasan Arat, has been nominated the new leader of the Istanbul 2020 bid and said, “First of all, let me reiterate our gratitude to the IOC Working Group for their insightful analysis of our concept. We are delighted that the report recognises that Turkey’s government and its people have demonstrated a commitment to hosting the Games over many years. That commitment has grown over a 20 year period and now the Olympic family should be in no doubt: Turkey wants the Games, and we are better placed than ever to realise our dream.

“It is also very pleasing that the IOC understands and appreciates our Games vision. With a plan that embraces the European and Asian sides of the city, Istanbul 2020 is trying to achieve something that has never been done before and host the Games across two continents simultaneously. The “new social and economic opportunities for [our] large youth population” are at the very heart of our Bid. Nearly 50% of Turkey’s population is under-25, and Istanbul 2020 is determined to provide the next generation with a sustainable legacy.”

Professor Ugur Erdener, IOC member and head of the World Archery Federation, added, “We are honoured that the IOC has taken the time to offer us this detailed appraisal. We look forward to working closely with the Olympic family to refine our plan so that we can provide an exceptional Games-time experience for all client groups. Istanbul offers the chance of a truly spectacular theatre for the Games, and we will work to match this with a plan that creates the perfect environment for elite athletic performance: maximum comfort, maximum convenience and maximum excitement.”


The city’s Mayor, Ana Botella, confirmed that she “was convinced that this time we have the winning project. After two consecutive attempts, and considering the world economic situation, now more than ever we believe that organizing the Games is a strategic project for the country that will contribute to the social and economic development by attracting investment, promoting tourism. The image of Madrid and Spain will be reinforced with the result of a generation of wealth among all of us.”

Alejandro Blanco, head of the bid as well as the national Olympic committee, remarked, “The remarkable quality of the bid was highly evaluated by the Executive Board. The shortcut has provided us with an objective assessment of the other bids, but now we are at the beginning of a new period, which is the most encouraging – we will take a look around and try to beat our rivals in a long race until September.”

Ministry for Sport, Miguel Cardenal, “We must tell the world Madrid is the best place to organize the Games. The challenges we are facing are not whether if we can do it or not, but how the investments we have to do will help to the economic recovery. We have the formula.”

Víctor Sánchez, bid ceo, agrees with the concept, “Sport is a boost for the economy. In addition, Madrid has the legacy of the two previous bids. The IOC members have appreciated that this project which has always been solid, has certainly improved over the years.”


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda immediately spoke out about how the bid resembled a symbol of recovery for the nation and a light of hope now that they are on the IOC shortlist.

Tsunekazu Takeda, head of both the Japanese Olympic Committee and the bid, said, “This is a wonderful day for Japan and we are all very excited that Tokyo has been selected. It is a great honour for everyone who has worked hard to produce such strong initial plans. Millions of people throughout Japan are celebrating with us today.

“We are delighted that Tokyo’s strong infrastructure, experience and government support have been recognised as providing a firm and stable platform for hosting the Games. Now, we are looking forward to the next stage of our work. Our aim is to deliver Games of excellence and excitement, which truly embody the Olympic Values and use Tokyo’s energy and innovation for the benefit of the whole Olympic and Paralympic Movements.”

Masato Mizuno, bid ceo, underlined, “The dream among the people who are facing the biggest difficulties in the whole world, we really believe the power of sport encourages people.” 

The next phase is the cities will be able to attend London 2012 as observers and take notes on the organizational running of the Games. The final vote will take place on September 7th of 2013 in Buenos Aires at the IOC session.

Keywords · Tokyo 2020 · Istanbul 2020 · Madrid 2020 · IOC · SportAccord

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