POSTED: September 6th 2013

Madrid 2020 delegation thanks supporters in final press conference before IOC decision

Alejandro Blanco, President of Madrid 2020 and the Spanish Olympic Committee, and Ana Botella, Mayor of Madrid / Madrid 2020
Alejandro Blanco, President of Madrid 2020 and the Spanish Olympic Committee, and Ana Botella, Mayor of Madrid / Madrid 2020

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Madrid 2020 Bid Delegation held its final press conference in Buenos Aires Friday before Saturday’s vote at the 125th International Olympic Committee Session to see which Candidate City will host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games.

“We are ready,” Madrid 2020 Bid President Alejandro Blanco said. “We have worked tirelessly and tomorrow is the most important day in this long journey.

“We have a compact project that has been created by athletes for athletes. The city has been tailored to the Games and there is no bid in the world that can say, as we can, that 60 percent of the athletes will be no more than five minutes away from their competition venue, that 80 percent will be within ten minutes, and 100 percent within 20.

“The high standard of Spanish sport, our organisational skills and the support for the project across the whole of Spain are our strengths. Provided that the IOC members agree, those are the assets that will lead us to victory.”

Eighty percent of Madrid 2020’s proposed venue infrastructure is already in place, showing other cities around the world a large investment is not necessary to prepare a qualified Olympic Games bid.

“What that means is that we are proposing a new model for the Games, a model tailoured to these times of austerity,” Mayor of Madrid Ana Botella said. “There would be no white elephants at the Madrid 2020 Games. We have nurtured the legacy, a legacy that the people of Madrid are already enjoying. This is an aspect of prime importance not just to the IOC but to us, too.”

“There’s still more lobbying to be done,” Blanco said. “The match will be over tomorrow, after the presentation. Our feeling is that there are some IOC members who will wait until the presentations before deciding who to vote for, which is why we have worked really hard on putting together the best possible presentation, one that reflects the strengths of our bid: our first-rate infrastructures, our transport system, experienced people who have organised many major international events over the last few years, a tight and responsible budget, and a bid in which all remaining investment can comfortably be met by the three levels of government.”

“We are an open city, one that has a perfect understanding of the needs of people with disabilities and is an example to the whole world,” Spanish Paralympic Committee President Miguel Carballeda said. “We have made a solid commitment in the Paralympic part of the bid because disability is out there in the street. Years ago we made a commitment to adapt cities, and Madrid in particular, to people of all types, not just those with disabilities but to people who need a pleasant city to live in, a city that takes everyone into consideration. That commitment was embodied a long time ago in the Madrid 2020 Bid.”

“I want to express my gratitude to the three levels of government, to the world of sport, business leaders, workers, the media and to everyone,” Blanco said. “Thanks to you all. Without your support we would not be here.

“It was only 15 days ago that Alejandro Sanz became our 50,000th volunteer. This Sunday Iker Casillas became the 60,000th, on Tuesday we announced that we had reached the 70,000 mark and today we’ve topped 85,000. My thanks to all of you. After many days, months and years of work we are now into the final straight. With the support of all of you we can do it.”

“Over these last few months we in the government, Madrid City Council, the Autonomous Community of Madrid and many other public and private stakeholders have all worked together as a team in a project that has generated a great deal of excitement, a project that belongs to the whole country and enjoys tremendous public support,” Spanish government Vice President Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said following the government’s cabinet meeting Friday morning in Madrid.

Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party Secretary General Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba released a statement Friday in which he said hosting the Games in Madrid “would be very good for the country, and would attract investment, create jobs and represent a positive step forward.”

“It would show Spain to be a modern and efficient country that is home to qualified people with a gift for organising events,” Rubalcaba’s statement read. “Let’s hope it’s third time lucky.”

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

Keywords · Madrid 2020 · Spain · International Olympic Committee · IOC · Olympics · Olympic Bidding ·

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