Istanbul and Wrestling Top the iSportconnect Road to 2020 Olympic Games Poll

August 23, 2013

The results of the iSportconnect Road to 2020 Olympic Games survey are in. Throughout the latter stages of the 2020 bidding process, iSportconnect has offered you the chance to have your voice heard. We wanted to know which city you felt should host the 2020 Olympic Games and what sport you wanted to see compete in seven years’ time.

After months of voting the results are finally in and it is good news for Istanbul and Wrestling, who both top their respective charts.

Out of 9,540 people who voted, 42% answered Istanbul when asked “Which bidding city do you think should host the 2020 Olympic Games?”  Interestingly Tokyo, which has long been labelled the “safe pair of hands” in the bidding process, is last in the poll, with just 25% of the votes.


Istanbul 2020 and their supporters may have been concerned that their popularity had faded following mass-protests against the government this summer. However the results of the survey show otherwise and bidding expert Paul Freudensprung, Event Operation Director at BCN Event Fact was not surprised.

“Istanbul receiving the most votes despite the wave of popular protest this summer is anything but a surprise, as this city generally has been reported as the front runner,” Freudensprung told iSportconnect.

Internationally renowned correspondent Keir Radnedge, who worked for The Daily Mail for 20 years and covered the IOC’s Evaluation Commission visits of the three cities, said that Istanbul was perhaps a case of any publicity is good publicity.

“It is Intriguing to see Istanbul improving marginally on the last poll considering the catalogue of headlines concerning the Gezi Park protests and the floodtide of doping cases,” said Radnedge, “Maybe it just proves the cynical old dictum that publicity on its own is more important than the reason for it.” Continuing on about Madrid, who received 33% of the votes, Radnedge said: “Word on the inside is that Madrid’s political connections are starting to come into more effective play in the corridors and the corners. “Certainly Madrid had a right to be pleased with the Olympic family to the presentation in Lausanne last month.”

The results for the sport proved to be closer and left no clear favourite. Wresting was controversially dropped by the IOC at the beginning of the year, but after months of hard work to improve their sport, Wrestling is now the slight favourite to compete in 2020. With 37% of the votes, Wrestling was just ahead of Baseball/Softball who received 35% of the votes, clearly indicating the popularity of the joint bid. Squash received the fewest of the votes with 28% but is still considered to have a real chance of Olympic inclusion.


Speaking to iSportconnect in June, Nenad Lalovic, president of wrestling’s international governing body FILA, spoke of his confidence. “We are the favourite and that was clearly said by our competitors at St Petersburg (SportAccord Convention),” said Lalovic. “We did it (presentation) very well in St Petersburg and we were the sole sport to be elected in the first half with eight votes. All the other sports got around six votes and we got eight immediately. That makes us optimistic. The new session should be in same percentage as before.”

If Lalovic and the participants in the iSportconnect poll are correct, then wrestling will be reinstated into the Olympic Games in 2020. The IOC has tough decisions to make at their 125th Session and all eyes will be on the official voting process.

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 was one vote per person and voting was controlled.

The iSportconnect poll results were featured in our Road to 2020 e-Magazine, which features articles on the bidding cities and sports, as well as other exclusive content.