POSTED: November 19th 2012

20 future sports stars back Madrid's 2020 Olympic bid

Alejandro Bianco and Ana Botella with the flag bearers / Madrid 2020
Alejandro Bianco and Ana Botella with the flag bearers / Madrid 2020

Triathlete Mario Mario Mola who is serving as spokesman / Madrid 2020
Triathlete Mario Mario Mola who is serving as spokesman / Madrid 2020

Sports Features Communications

November 19 - In an effort to bolster the bid for hosting the 2020 summer Games in Madrid, Spain has tagged 20 athletes as a “flag bearers” already for the event.

The 10 men and 10 women come from different areas of Spain and represent different fields of competition. In addition to supporting the Spanish bid, the athletes hope to compete in the Games and bring home medals.

For the next seven years, journalists will follow the 20 athletes to tell their story, report on their success and bring news of their achievements to Spain and the world.

Madrid's Mayor Ana Botella and Alejandro Blanco, head of the bid and president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, announced the athletes and the project “20 for 20, United in a Dream.”

The athletes “are part of a human mosaic which represents a country where sport is a passion; where it is seen as bringing rewards and as a way of earning international recognition,” Chairman Blanco said. “These young people exemplify timeless values, fair play, the spirit of sacrifice and the desire to be the best. For them, sport is not just an end in itself, but a way to be better people and, in some respects, to make us all better by encouraging us to follow their example."

The inaugural 20 athletes will be followed next year by another group of Spanish sports stars.

"You are the first wave of 20 flag-bearers. This project will continue with more appointed next year. You have been chosen from different sports [fields] and come from different corners of the country, because the bid for the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 involves the whole of Spain,” Mayor Botella said. "From now on these journalists, who represent various different media outlets, will assist us in spreading the message about these champions, with the help of social networks. This way, everyone can share in their dreams and follow their efforts."

Sports is particularly important to young people in Spain. Chairman Blanco pointed to a study which showed 80 percent of the nation supports the effort to bring the Olympics to Madrid. In the under 25 crowd, the support rises to 85 percent.

“This generation needs jobs, motivation and hope for the future, especially because they are experiencing such difficult times. The Games are an opportunity for us to show what our country is capable of,” he said.

Mayor Botella added, "I am convinced that winning the vote in Buenos Aires on September 7 would strengthen Spain's image on the world stage.”

Judo gold medal winner Isabel Fernandez and Jose Luis 'Pirri' Abajo, a bronze medalist in fencing, hosted the ceremony.

Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo are all three competing to get the IOC nod on September 7, 2013 to win the summer Games.

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · Ana Botella · Alejandro Blanco · summer Games · Mario Mola · Isabel Fernandez · Jose Luis 'Pirri' Abajo

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