POSTED: May 30th 2013

Madrid 2020: Building on their legacy with many venues in place

The Madrid 2020 team delivering their presentation / Madrid 2020
The Madrid 2020 team delivering their presentation / Madrid 2020

Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Madrid 2020 bid officials were keen to emphasise the city’s preparedness for the Olympic Games in a presentation and press conference at SportAccord Convention on Thursday.

Madrid officials spoke to delegates at the Convention for 20 minutes, playing down fears about the country’s economy and insisting the city is perfectly placed to stage the Games, with the vast majority of competition venues already in place.

Madrid’s bid opened with a video promoting their slogan ‘Illuminate the Future’ before Marisol Casado, President of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), announced the intention to build on the city’s three unsuccessful campaigns to host the Games.

“Madrid has been preparing by building infrastructure and keeping our promises to the Olympic Movement. We have been building our legacy,” she said.

“We are not adapting the Olympic and Paralympic Games to fit our city. We have adapted our city to fit the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Theresa Zabell, winner of sailing gold for Spain at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996, outlined the benefits of Madrid for the athletes in terms of location of facilities and experience of hosting major sport events.

However, the key message from Madrid was that everything will be ready, with 80 per cent of venues already in place.

Jaime Garcia-Legaz, Spain’s Minister of Commerce and International Trade, offered further reassurance as he explained that the country’s economy is sound. He said that Spain is the second largest economy in the EU, with a forecast of five years of steady growth.

Legaz added: “Spain has the largest growth potential in the next decade among the five most important economies in Europe, thanks to the increasing external competitiveness and the improvement of domestic demand.

“The fundamentals of the Spanish economy are strong and deep.

“We have an Organising Committee budget of 1.9 billion US dollars, guaranteed by three levels of Government. It means that only 90 million dollars per year is needed from each level of Government, which is a small fraction.”

"Our two previous bids have given us the opportunity to have this historic third bid that shows we are responsible and can host a financially sustainable Games," said Madrid 2020 President Alejandro Blanco, who is also head of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE).

"This is not a bid promises because we have already kept them; this is not a bid of dreams because we have already kept them.

“A Madrid Games can also deliver and that is what we have done for the past 15 years, building for the 2020 Games.”

"There’s too much talk about the economy," he said. "Spain is one of the most organised countries in the world in terms of the level of sport.

"Madrid feels and lives sport and our Games will be by the people, for the people," he added.

Madrid 2020 bid CEO Victor Sanchez added: “We want to show that the city is well prepared though the years of not only promising, not planning, but actually building. Spain has built 100 new sport venues since 1999. The city can offer no risk to the Olympic movement.

“Madrid 2020’s technical plan leaves nothing to chance. Madrid 2020 is based on one word – responsibility – and by that I mean responsibility to our city, to our nation, to sport and to the Olympic movement.”

Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella added that the bid enjoys considerable local support.

She said: “Seventy-six per cent of Madrid citizens support the bid – 86% in the Madrid region and almost 81% of all Spanish people."        

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · SportAccord · Alejandro Blanco · Ana Botella · Theresa Zabell

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