POSTED: January 12th 2016

Olympics: Italian PM Renzi stands by Roma 2024 Games bid; talks continue with Calatrava for Tor Vergata

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has always supported the Rome 2024 Olympic bid / Getty
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi has always supported the Rome 2024 Olympic bid / Getty

(L to R) CONI chief Giovanni Malago, Santiago Calatrava and bid chief Luca di Montezemolo / Roma 2024
(L to R) CONI chief Giovanni Malago, Santiago Calatrava and bid chief Luca di Montezemolo / Roma 2024

The Tor Vergata project / Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers
The Tor Vergata project / Santiago Calatrava Architects & Engineers

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi reaffirms his support for the Eternal City bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics in his official weekly newsletter. He confirmed that he will travel to the IOC this month with Giovanni Malago, head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to discuss the bid.

Renzi wrote in his newsletter, "On January 21, together with President Malago, we will be in Lausanne at the IOC headquarters. Italy is investing heavily in sport, sports facilities, and the in the outer areas. But we aim to win the Olympic challenge of Rome 2024. It won't be easy because we have formidable opponents, starting with Paris. But the idea that Italy goes back to thinking big and doesn't give up on its own dreams - like what happened a few years ago -for me is a value I want to defend."

They will have plenty to discuss as the deadline for submitting part one of the candidature file is coming up on February 17th and each city will have to send in their vision, Games concept and strategy.

Currently Rome has no mayor as Ignazio Marino was forced to resign by his own political party over an expenses row on how public money was being spent. So far there is no certainty when the next mayor will be elected.

According to the Rome 2024 Facebook page, 2024 bid chief, Luca di Montezemolo, Director General Diana Bianchedi, Giovanni Malago and a high level team met this week with world famous engineer and architect Santiago Calatrava to discuss the synergy with the Tor Vergata University and the facilities. Malago and Bianchedi underlined the importance of the project at Tor Vergata for the Rome 2024 candidature. It would be an effort to involve the university and to engage the youth in the Games should Rome grab the golden ring to host the Summer Olympics.

 Calatrava designed a master plan for the campus and for a futuristic "Sport City" that was conceived with the iconic Circus Maximus in mind. The new Sports City would be located at one end and the rectorate of the university at the other end with a large green space in between creating a big park. This could become an area for meetings and forums and cultural events.

The Sports City would be made up of two symmetrically arranged identical fan-shaped pavilions and a series of external infrastructure works to complete and complement the development.

Each of the pavilions has a purpose one will house a multi-purpose arena, Palasport; the other will accommodate a swimming pool, Palanuoto. According to the Calatrava website: The Palasport-Palanuoto complex will also include gymnasia, laboratories, classrooms, teaching facilities, a fitness and rehabilitation center as well as offices and shops. A track-and-field and an outdoor swimming pool will rounded off the external sporting area.

The project was originally planned to be used for the Rome 2009 FINA World Championships however it was postponed due to a change in financing and the event was held at Foro Italico. It has been on the back burner and is seen as a big boost for the 2024 bid and should Rome win this would be a way to complete the project and leave a legacy for the city.  

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Rome 2024

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