POSTED: May 28th 2013

Madrid 2020: Blanco underlines infrastructure positives for the Spanish Olympic Bid

The Madrid bid top officials met with the Olympic press at SportAccord prior to the presentations / Madrid 2020
The Madrid bid top officials met with the Olympic press at SportAccord prior to the presentations / Madrid 2020

Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Madrid 2020 president Alejandro Blanco attempted to shake off his bid’s recession cloud on Tuesday by insisting that the Spanish economy can cope with staging the Olympic Games in seven years’ time.

Blanco, speaking at SportAccord Convention in Saint Petersburg, Russia, also claimed that the Spanish city would require relatively minor construction work to prepare itself for staging the Olympics.

“It is not just about presenting a project or planning it, but it is about realising this project,” Blanco said at SportAccord Convention in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

“The special message we have brought with us to SportAccord Convention is that the country is prepared to welcome the Games.

"Spain has a passion for sport, and 80 per cent of the construction work needed for the Olympics has already been carried out.”

Blanco’s insistence that Madrid already has the bulk of the infrastructure already in place is an attempt to convince members of the International Olympic Committee members who are wary of awarding the event to a country where unemployment hit a record high of six million people last month.

However, Blanco believes the Olympics can help to galvanise Spain’s struggling economy.

“In an economic sense, Madrid does not have any problems in hosting the Olympics,” Blanco added. “The economic situation in Spain is the situation that the entire continent is in.

“We think that the Games will play a big role in reactivating the Spanish economy.”

The Madrid 2020 team is expected to expand on Blanco’s message during a presentation to IOC members and International Federations in Saint Petersburg on Thursday.

Bid rival Istanbul is expected to underline the flourishing Turkish economy in its presentation, while Tokyo will also highlight what it claims to be a fiscally responsible bid following modifications to venue plans submitted for its unsuccessful tilt at the 2016 Olympics.

Madrid was widely considered to be unlucky to miss out in the bidding campaigns for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and Blanco said that those behind the 2020 campaign had used the experience of previous near-misses, and other developments in the interim four years, to ensure the latest bid is more persuasive.

“With every Games process there are attempts to do things better than before, because four years is a long time,” Blanco said.

“There are innovations, and the communications are different, but the thing that doesn’t change is the spirit.

“An opinion poll carried out by the International Olympic Committee as well as ours said that Madrid had 81 per cent of support from the country’s citizens. Ninety-per-cent of people under the age of 30 support the bid, so with that support we don’t have any other choice – it is only about winning.

“Sport in Spain is the thing that unites people, like it did at the 1992 Games in Barcelona. We have spoken to lots of people who were involved in those Games, and we are looking for the same positive moments in Madrid.

“We aren’t comparing ourselves with anybody. We don’t think about how to win against Tokyo or Istanbul; we are just thinking about how to make our bid better.”

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · Alejandro Blanco · Olympic Bidding

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