Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid all in Rome for the EOC General Assembly
LAURA WALDEN in ROME / Sports Features Communications
December 7 – All three 2020 bid cities are present in Rome as observers for the European Olympic Committees (EOC) General Assembly ironically convening in one of the cities that fell out of the summer Games race. The meeting was moved from Eilat, Israel given the number of cancellations due to the rising upheaval and crossfire exchanges between Israel- Hamas.
A number of important points will be on the program, mainly one that has been discussed for a long time, the European Games proposal. It will be voted on tomorrow and another city that fell out of the 2020 race, Baku is likely to have the honor of hosting them.
The Japanese bid team will comprise Tsunekazu Takeda, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and head of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) and bid ceo Masato Mizuno, as well as executive board member Yasuhiro Nakamori.
Takeda said, “We are delighted to attend the EOC Assembly, and appreciate the invitation from the EOC. Participating gives us the valuable opportunity to meet many Olympic family friends from Europe, and it is a pleasure to share the latest updates about Tokyo’s bid activity.
Having the chance to meet face-to-face with National Olympic Committee members from across Europe, and exchange with representatives of upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, will enable us to collect real and tangible insight as we finalise our Candidature File. I look forward to collaborating with the EOC and NOC members to further build the Olympic Movement together worldwide.”
Istanbul will attend with a five member team led by bid leader Hasan Arat and IOC member Professor Ugur Erdener among others who will be taking notes on the proceedings.
Arat said, “This is a very important event for us. There is a significant cross-section of the Olympic family here who can share their insight, their experience and their feedback. I am sure this is going to be an invaluable learning experience for Istanbul 2020 and the team is very much looking forward to it.”
IOC member, Professor Ugur Erdener, who is also the head of the NOC, added, “This year’s meeting is a significant moment for everyone here. This will be the last time the EOC’s former President and one of the great Europeans of the Olympic Movement, Dr. Jacques Rogge, will attend the General Assembly before the end of his inspirational and ground-breaking leadership of the Olympic Movement.”
The Spanish city will be represented by EOC Executive Board member, Alejandro Blanco, who is also the head of the bid and the NOC of Spain. He will be joined by Theresa Zabell, head of international relations for the bid.
Blanco said, “We are very much looking forward to attending the General Assembly in Rome and receiving reports not just from the highly successful London Games but also from the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi and PyeongChang in 2014 and 2018 and the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“We’ll be listening and learning. It will be very interesting to see how the various organizing committees are doing at their different stages of preparation. Madrid 2020 can only benefit in sharing their experiences and listening to the lessons they’ve learnt along the way.”
Zabell, a double medalled Olympian sailor, has also served as a member of the European Parliament and noted, “We must not forget that sport is now part of the EU Treaty and can benefit from the programs in the Commission.
“During the period I was a member of the European Parliament one of my main objectives was precisely the inclusion of sport in the Treaty for which I worked in closed liaison with the EOC and the IOC.”
The three bidding cities are putting the final touches on their bid files that will be handed over to the IOC on January 7th of next year.
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Laura Walden ()
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