2020 Olympic Bidding Cities Display Crucial Moscow Presentation

By iSportconnect | April 16, 2012

The five cities that bid for the 2020 Olympic Games all made crucial presentations at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) general assembly in Moscow on Saturday, allergist with each party desperate to impress towards the official candidate cities deadline on the 23rd May.

The ANOC meeting represented Baku, asthma Doha, cough Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo’s first opportunity to engage with an international audience. The platform also allowed the bids to present their Games visions to the world’s NOCs for the only time before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes on the host city in September 2013. Baku centred its presentation on its claim to offer the Olympic Movement a new, sustainable model of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We want to prove that an Olympic Games is not only a sound investment in a nation’s sport, health and quality of life, but that it can be hosted in a responsible manner which, in turn, provides a sustainable Games hosting model for the future,” said Narguiz Birk-Petersen, the bid’s new communications director.

Highlighting Azerbaijan’s status as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, sports and venues director Elkhan Mammadov added: “We offer the Olympic Movement a Games model that is based on true need. This means sustainable venues designed to remain in place, serving both local and regional athletes. Our model can demonstrate to future potential host cities that the Olympic Games are achievable, responsible investments for the future.”

Doha’s presentation also made sustainability a key theme, while IOC member and Qatar Olympic Committee president Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani touched on the controversial topic of the bid’s ‘heat factor’. Referring to the IOC’s decision to permit Qatar to stage the Games from October 2-18 – outside its traditional window – Doha’s bid leader said: “You could say we have finally taken the heat out of Doha’s hot issue.” Bid CEO Noora Al Mannai highlighted Doha 2020’s plan to utilise venues put in place for previous events. She said: “Our plan ensures no white elephants. This is a completely sustainable approach, for the environment, for the venues, for our communities and for sport in the region.”

Istanbul also addressed the main talking point surrounding its bid – Turkey’s potential tilt at the UEFA Euro 2020 football tournament. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan last month stated his support for a bid to host Euro 2020 at UEFA’s Congress in Istanbul. The Turkish Football Federation has until May 15 to formally declare its interest in hosting the 24-team final tournament, with the IOC set to decide the shortlist of 2020 Olympic Games candidate cities on May 23. Ugur Erdener, president of the Turkish NOC, stressed that any bid for Euro 2020 would not threaten the Olympic bid.

“In the Istanbul 2020 application file, Turkey made a clear commitment not to host any other event around the 2020 Games,” he said. “This commitment was supported by our Prime Minister. It is part of the host city contract and it is a binding commitment on behalf of Turkey.” Istanbul’s 2020 Games bid represents its fifth shot at the Olympics and bid leaders added they have “listened and learned” to present a more compact bid this time around.

Madrid’s presentation had a youth-orientated theme, while the dark shadow of Spain’s economic crisis loomed large. Sports Minister Miguel Cardenal stated the Games bid is a national priority and rejected concerns that the government’s commitment to the cause may be wavering amid the country’s austerity drive.

“You can be assured that Spain’s government unreservedly supports Madrid’s candidacy to host the 2020 Games,” he said. Madrid 2020 president Alejandro Blanco added: “We want to provide an opportunity to nine million young people of all nationalities to earn themselves a future. This is a new attitude we want to develop.”

Tokyo played up to its billing as the ‘safe bet’ for 2020 by highlighting the Japanese economy’s heavyweight status. “(Tokyo) is a city that is totally safe and has world-class infrastructure in place now,” said bid CEO Masato Mizuno. “It is the spectacular capital of a country whose economy is the third biggest in the world. Indeed, Tokyo has the highest GDP of any city in the world and so offers financial certainty and stability.”

Mizuno stated Tokyo has learned from its failed bid for the 2016 Games and now presents a thoroughly refined proposition. He said: “Our Games concept is clear and simple. It is based on listening and learning from our previous bid, making strategic improvements wherever needed. In a nutshell, we have kept the best and improved the rest.”