IOC Commission head Sir Craig Reedie gives Istanbul 2020 an excellent report card
LAURA WALDEN in ISTANBUL / Sports Features Communications
March 27 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) carried out their final wrap press conference on bid city Istanbul and Commission Chairman Sir Craig Reedie announced that the IOC was “extremely impressed” with the bid plan for Istanbul.
After giving Tokyo a “hugely” impressed outcome then Madrid “greatly” impressed there was much speculation in the media as to how he would judge the final bid city. Then he underlined that "hugely", "greatly" and an "excellent" impression is all the same equaling the bid city playing field.
Reedie said, “The IOC 2020 Evaluation Commission has been very pleased to spend time here in the extraordinary city of Istanbul.
"We have an excellent impression of the Bid Committee, and we have witnessed the strong support that the bid enjoys from the government, which was highlighted by the presence of President Gül this week.
"It has been a great pleasure to meet with so many Olympians, Paralympians, athletes and the Bid Committee - we have seen the enthusiasm for the Olympic Games that exists here in Istanbul.”
Bid leader, Hasan Arat, took a moment to talk to the press afterward and explained that during the bid campaign there will be three more presentations: St Petersburg, Lausanne and then Buenos Aires. And they will all have to highlight certain points.
Arat noted on the "impressive change" in the country since the last bid and the fact that many IOC members in the commission had noted on this very point.
"Look at the metro line to the Olympic stadium. In Turkey even people don't know that, because the Prime Minister will open this line in June.
“We are so grateful to Sir Craig Reedie, Gilbert Felli, and the distinguished members of the IOC Evaluation Commission. This has been an incredible week for us; we have all been so impressed by the diligence, professionalism, and rigorous approach that the IOC Evaluation Commission has taken over these last few days.
"It has been a wonderful experience and a great learning process on our journey towards hosting the greatest prize of all. Istanbul 2020 is now better equipped than ever to deliver on our promises and on our vision," he added.
The Istanbul 2020 press conference followed afterwards moderated by Emir Turam, former head of the nation's basketball team and communications expert, and presented by Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Suat Kılıç; Chairman of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, Hasan Arat; IOC member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, Uğur Erdener; Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbaş; CEO of Istanbul 2020, Ali Kiremitçioğlu; President of the National Paralympic Committee of Turkey, Yavuz Kocaömer; and Paralympic archer, Gizem Girişmen.
The sports minister added, “Istanbul has a young population which is excited about the Olympics. We have 11 million people who want the Games to come to Istanbul and 50% of those people are under the age of 25.
"Istanbul has been vocal about its ambitions for the Olympics. We are a humble city but have a long history as a bridge between different cultures and faiths.”
Prof. Ugur Erdener, summed up, “As an IOC member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, I am particularly proud that, today, Istanbul’s Olympic ambitions received such positive feedback. This has been a long journey to get to this point, and all of Turkey will today feel that we are closer than ever to securing our nation’s first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"The Evaluation Commission has tested our concept, and asked us many questions. I am sure that the Commission members have felt our passion, commitment and dedication to excellence.
"Let me take this opportunity to congratulate our fellow bid cities, Madrid and Tokyo, for the continued high standards of their candidature. We look forward to the final months of this exciting race.”
Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbaş, said, “The Istanbul 2020 bid has been a long process. Istanbul was to raise its voice and deliver a message of peace. This message has been embedded in us for many years as Istanbul has always been a home to multiple cultures.
"We want to use sport to continue to deliver our message of peace. It has always been our dream to host the Games; I hope we will have the honour of doing this in 2020.”
The next stop on the bid city campaign circuit will be in St Petersburg for the SportAccord convention where the cities will be making presentations.
Then July 3 and 4, in Lausanne, the IOC assembly will gather for a technical explanation to the voting members and they will make public their technical report with the assessments of this bid tour during March.
All three bids will be on edge until they see their final technical marks in the report.
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