Madrid 2020: First day gets off to a kicking good start
LAURA WALDEN in MADRID / Sports Features Communications
March 19 – The first day for the Madrid 2020 bid evaluation got off to a good start with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) even kicking footballs to test out the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Bid chief, Alejandro Blanco, even joked about it at the meet the press event but was quick to get to the real point of the day, “But most importantly we were able to explain the corner stones of the Madrileño project - the emphasis on young people, the desire to listen to their worries, the legacy for the future and concept of a ‘compact’ Games.
“We’ve taken everything good about Madrid 2012 and 2016 but we’ve introduced new concepts. This bid is not the same as the last two.”
The IOC team also had the chance to visit the the Retiro Park that would be home to beach volleyball and the iconic Las Ventas bullring that would host basketball.
Blanco noted that these two new venues are a “new way of selling our bid, showing off our city and its beauty to the whole world.
“And this is line with the new concepts introduced by Madrid 2020, building on the previous two attempts.
Madrid Mayor Ana Botella noted that the Madrid project is economically feasible and she said, “The budget of 1.5 billion euros needed over the next seven years is within our reach when divided between the three administrations.”
“So the funding for this infrastructure is totally guaranteed by the three administrations," she added.
Showing government backing the Madrid team was joined at the press conference by the Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal and Lucia Figar, Madrid Regional Councillor for Education, Culture and Sport.
Cardenal also confirmed that new anti-doping legislation will be approved and passed by the date of the IOC vote on 7 September.
Botella also touched on the issue of the Municipal Transport Company that had planned a strike this week but it was postponed due to the IOC visit. She thanked the workers for making the effort to keep the IOC visit in the best light possible for the advantage and benefit of everyone involved should Madrid land the Olympic Games.
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