Istanbul racks up 83% support topping Madrid and Tokyo
LAURA WALDEN in ISTANBUL / Sports Features Communications
March 26 - The Istanbul bid leaders have released the official International Olympic Committee (IOC) figures of support at a high level 83% topping the other two bid cities Madrid at 76% and Tokyo at 70%.
Minister of Youth and Sports, Suat Kılıç, made the announcement together with the launch of the new bid slogan “Bridge Together”.
He said, "People in Istanbul participated in a public poll and the support of the Games in Istanbul has been found to be 83%. Of the 76 million people in Turkey, the support is 76%. These are sound and accurate figures. 83% of Istanbul's population support the bid - that's 11 million people who want a city which bridges East and West to host the Games. 50% of Turkey's population are under the age of 25 - they are very excited that Istanbul is bidding to be an Olympic city."
Bid leader Hasan Arat added, "Istanbul 2020 is delighted that Istanbul's fifth bid to host one Games on two continents, for the first time ever in Turkey, has not only captured the world's attention, but has drawn upon the passion of our sports-loving nation. Turkey and Istanbul's youthful population love sport; they love the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"With these figures, released today, the Olympic family can be assured of full venues with knowledgeable and enthusiastic crowds as well as millions of Turkish consumers with ever-increasing disposable incomes to spend on tickets, sponsors' and licenced products."
IOC member, Ugur Erdener declared not to be so amazed that the figures were so high. "I am pleased but not necessarily surprised by these excellent figures of support. Sports clubs across Turkey are enjoying a rise in participation, as our youthful population take up sport as a lifestyle choice. There is a real appetite to watch world class sport in Turkey and it doesn't get any bigger than the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he concluded.
The IOC is on their next to the last day of examining the city after visiting Tokyo and Madrid. Tomorrow they will give a small view of their technical assessment at the final IOC press conference.
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