POSTED: February 1st 2013

Blanco: Madrid 2020 must replicate Barcelona 1992 Olympics

Alejandro Blanco, President of Madrid 2020 and Spanish Olympic Committee, Ana Botella, Mayor of Madrid, Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona / Madrid 2020
Alejandro Blanco, President of Madrid 2020 and Spanish Olympic Committee, Ana Botella, Mayor of Madrid, Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona / Madrid 2020

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

February 1 – Spanish Olympic Committee and Madrid 2020 Bid President Alejandro Blanco stated the Spanish capital’s bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games must follow the benchmark set by the Barcelona 1991 Games if it is to earn the right to host the Games. Blanco was speaking at the Inaugural Road to 2020 Forum on 31 January.

“The Madrid of 2020 aims to be the Barcelona of 1992,” Blanco said at the event, named “From Barcelona 92 to Madrid 20.” Including Thursday’s meeting, there will be a total of seven Road to 2020 forums organised by Spanish sports daily Marca and the Spanish Olympic Committee, with the Madrid 2020 Bid and the Madrid Business Confederation.

“We have the utmost admiration for Barcelona and we want to pick up where they left off,” Blanco continued. “The Barcelona Games were both a crowning moment and a turning point, and we continue to follow in the city’s wake. We remember them as if they were still going on today.”

Blanco also commented Barcelona became “the city of wonders” in organising a “unique” Olympics.

“They were the first transitional Games and marked the end of one era and the beginning of the next,” he said. “In terms of sport, they represented the start of the 21st century.”

Madrid Mayor Ana Botella said the possibility of Madrid hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games was generating “widespread excitement” at a time of need for Spain. Botella said the matter of importance now was to get IOC members to choose Madrid 2020 as Host City when they gather in Buenos Aires on 7 September.

Barcelona Mayor Xavier Trias also gave the Madrid 2020 Bid his “unconditional” support at the event. Trias said the Games would be a “tremendous driving force for growth” for the Spanish capital.

Trias is in favour of Spanish football clubs, such as FC Barcelona, wearing the Madrid 2020 logo on their shirts if the Bid is successful. Blanco revealed the Barca president is also behind the bid.

“I have spoken to Sandro Rosell and there can be no doubt about the support of FC Barcelona,” he said.

“Together we cannot be beaten,” Trias said. “The Barcelona Games changed the history of our city and exceeded all sporting and social expectations. They were like a blessing that fell on Barcelona.”

Madrid is competing against Istanbul and Tokyo to host the 2020 Summer Games. The IOC will vote on September 7, 2013 in Buenos Aires at the official session.

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · Olympic bidding · Alejandro Blanco

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