POSTED: September 5th 2013

Istanbul 2020 chairman plays basketball with Young Ambassadors, local athletes in Buenos Aires

Hasan Arat a former professional basketball player takes a shot on the court / Istanbul 2020
Hasan Arat a former professional basketball player takes a shot on the court / Istanbul 2020

The athlete ambassadors / Istanbul 2020
The athlete ambassadors / Istanbul 2020

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Istanbul 2020 Bid Chairman Hasan Arat participated in a basketball training session with Istanbul 2020’s newly-revealed Young Ambassadors and ten locals in Buenos Aires Thursday.

“I really enjoyed that,” the former professional basketball player said. “It was great to see young Turkish and Argentinean athletes playing together and enjoying the sport. It doesn’t matter that we are from different countries and speak different languages; our passion for sport is a bridge that connects us.

“Watching young people playing and enjoying sport always reminds me of what the Games are truly about. Our Games Plan has been designed to ensure that our youth remain at the very heart of our focus. Getting our young people to participate in sport and live healthier lives in accordance with the Olympic Values is our national priority. If we are awarded the honour of hosting the Games it will stimulate a huge rise in sports participation across the country and region.”

Istanbul 2020’s 50 Young Ambassadors all represent Turkey in Olympic and Paralympic sports at the national level, including basketball, volleyball, swimming, sailing, golf, tennis, and athletics.

“I am so excited to be here in Argentina,” sailor and Olympian Alican Kaynar said. “It was amazing to compete at London 2012 and I would love to compete in Istanbul in 2020. That would be the best. The whole country is behind us, and I know all our family and friends will be watching us.”

“I was so happy when Golf was selected to be a part of the Olympic Games,” national golfer Hamza Hakan Sayin said. “It means I have the chance to one day compete in the Olympics and if Istanbul wins its bid I will be so happy because I will have a chance to win an Olympic medal in my own country. That would be incredible.”

“Every athlete dreams of competing at the Olympics,” U20 national volleyball player Damla Cakiroglu said. “I will always remember the excitement of watching the Games for the first time. It would be amazing if Istanbul hosts the Olympics in 2020. It would give me even more motivation to try and achieve my absolute best so that I could represent my country in a home Games.”

“Watching the swimming events at the Olympic Games inspired me to start swimming,” swimmer Alpkan Ornek said. “I would love to swim for gold at any Olympic Games but to do it in 2020 in Istanbul, in front of my family and my friends would be the best feeling in the world.”

Istanbul is bidding against Madrid and Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee will award the Host City this Saturday, 7 September, at the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

Keywords · Istanbul 2020 · Turkey · International Olympic Committee · IOC · Olympics · Olympic Bidding · Argentina · Buenos Aires ·

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