|Istanbul and Squash Lead in iSportconnect 2020 Olympics Poll|
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 15:47
The iSportconnect 2020 Olympic Games poll has had a positive response after only a few weeks of being active.
With the successful candidate city and bidding sport not being announced by the IOC until September, iSportconnect will release a number of interim results to keep users up-to-date with the results.
In our poll we asked iSportconnect users “Which bidding city do you think should host the 2020 Olympics” and “Which sport do you think should be included in the 2020 Olympics?”
After four weeks and nearly 5000 votes, Istanbul is the front runner with 44.5% of the votes, with Madrid in second and Tokyo in last with 21% of the votes.
Paul Freudensprung, Event Operation Director at bcn event factory SL, who is an expert in bidding commented: “Looking at the result of the survey, the iSportconnect readers clearly favour Istanbul's storyline, a buoyant emerging economy with a lot of market potential bringing the Games closer to the Middle East, a region that still has to host an Olympic Games. A narrative that has been successful for many other bids in the recent past.
“It may come as a surprise to some that the 'safe bet' Tokyo received the least votes for hosting the Games in this survey. But already during the 2016 host city election Madrid has beaten Tokyo on IOC votes and came second only to Rio.”
A large number of users agreed with Freudensprung and commented that Istanbul’s unique location, with the ability to “Bridge Together,” as the bid motto goes, Europe and Asia, a reason why they want to see the Games in Turkey.
Internationally renowned pundit Keir Radnedge, who worked for The Daily Mail for 20 years and has covered sport for over 40 years, has been reporting from the IOC Evaluation Commission visits of the three cities and was not surprised that iSportconnect users think Istanbul is the city to choose.
“Istanbul is not a surprising leader among the popular vote,” said Radnedge. “The city has become a highly popular destination for tourists who want to stretch their curiosity a little further than the traditional attractions of western Europe and the national airline has promoted itself powerfully in recent years.
“On a more professional level, Istanbul has invested far more than Tokyo in an aggressive self-promotion campaign through the media; Madrid's promotional effort on an international scale has been somewhere between negligible and non-existent.
“Of course, promotional visibility means little in terms of IOC votes. The members will vote on very different criteria.”
Focusing on the eight sports looking to enter the Olympics, there is an extremely tight battle at the top, to determine which sport iSportconnect users want to see added by the IOC in September.
Squash, at the time of writing, is in the lead with 22.1% of voters opting for the sport. They are closely followed by Wrestling, the sport that was controversially demoted earlier in the year. The result shows that the IOC’s decision to drop the classic sport has not been met well and that many users think it should be immediately reinstated.
Roller Sports (5.6%) and Baseball / Softball (6.9%) are at the wrong end of the votes, which is perhaps surprising considering Baseball’s global stature.
Radnedge said: “Squash is a well-judged leader - partly because it is a sport with high visibility at elite level and great popularity at grassroots. Indeed, many Olympic 'outsiders' are surprised to learn that squash is not on the Games schedule.
“It does face a challenge in gaining IOC favour since the Olympics already has other racket sports. Certainly its elite sportsmen and women have worked hard on the Olympic bid which is not the case with most rival sports whose 'stars' have little public cachet.”
The figures shown represent the opinions of iSportconnect users and are in no way a prediction of the actual IOC result. The survey is the tallies of popular voting. There is one vote per person and voting is controlled.
The iSportconnect 2020 Olympic Games poll is still live and will continue through to September when the IOC make their decision. We will be releasing further interim results throughout the months leading up to the decision in Buenos Aires. Watch this space!
You can carry on voting in the poll here >>