POSTED: January 21st 2016

Rome 2024: Medals plaza at the Colosseum and PM Renzi pledges government support for the Olympics

(L to R) Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and IOC President Thomas Bach at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne / Rome 2024
(L to R) Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and IOC President Thomas Bach at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne / Rome 2024

Premier Renzi has been very front and center for the Eternal City bid / Rome 2024
Premier Renzi has been very front and center for the Eternal City bid / Rome 2024

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Rome 2024 President Luca di Montezemolo confirmed to the IOC that the government is very much behind Rome 2024 and the city's iconic landmarks will play a prominent part in the Olympic bid. Namely the renowned Colosseum which will host the medals plaza should the Eternal City win the IOC nod bringing back the summer Olympics.

Rome is bidding against Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris to host the 2024 summer Games.

PM Renzi confirmed to IOC President Bach, "The Olympic spirit is very important, but we want to win.

"This is the right moment for Rome. The government is here, we will do our best until 2017. An event like the Olympics is a great opportunity. The projects are ready, the government is working together with CONI because sport is a piece of the Italian culture and an investment for the future.

"Rome is a very strong candidature, respect for everyone but fear of no one," he added. 

Renzi was "very excited" for the visit to the IOC headquarters at heart of the Olympic Movement.

The Italian Premier and Montezemolo were joined by Vice President Luca Pancalli, General Coordiantor Diana Bianchedi, athlete relations chief Fiona May, Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) President and Secretary General respectively Giovanni Malagò and Roberto Fabbricini. 

Longtime IOC members Mario Pescante, Ottavio Cinquanta, Franco Carraro, and ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti were also attending the meeting.

IOC President Bach had very encouraging words for the Italian delegation, "We have seen the presentation of a very strong bid candidature which is addressing all the Olympic Agenda 2020 with a great combination of tradition and innovation by making use of many existing facilities and leaving a great legacy for the Romans and for the Italians.

"We have strong commitment by the President of the Council of Ministers and the whole government who with all his dynamism and commitment made the point here for the candidature of Roma so we are very pleased with this meeting and we wish the candidature of Rome all the very best in this journey until the election of the host city next year," Bach concluded.  

Rome 2024 President Luca di Montezemolo added, "Italy has an incredible sporting tradition.

"Think of the leaders of the Olympic Committee like Giulio Onesti, think of the Olympic Games in 1960 that have been the first Olympics of the modern era. 

"We are confident but the competition is still long. The bid Committee is working hard, with great unity of purpose and with the help and support of everyone."

He confirmed some of the details of the candidature, "The Flavian Amphitheatre [Colosseum], will be the site of the medal plaza.

"There will be events in Caracalla, at the beach volleyball court. The entire city with its archaeological sites will live the Olympics. The candidature file will be presented to the IOC on February 17th, with the three areas and 70% of existing venues ready."

CONI President Malago noted on the sporting strength of the team and their commitment, "Bianchedi, May, Mornati, Pancalli. It was a wonderful meeting, in a great atmosphere, we talked about what we are building.

"It was very important that the government confirmed its commitment," he affirmed.

"The meeting went very well," said General Coordinator and Olympian Diana Bianchedi.

"Renzi and Bach covered the technical aspects, but what emerged from this meeting is really the great energy and positive spirit in the group."

"Renzi was extraordinary not only for supporting the bid but also for the way he conducted the meeting," enthusiastically explained Vice-President Luca Pancalli.

"We came in with a smile and go out smiling even more, knowing that we must continue to work hard and cultivate the desire to win."

The IOC will vote for the host city in 2017 at the session in Lima, Peru.

**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 · Matteo Renzi · Thomas Bach

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