Special Report: Tokyo Raise the Bar in 2020 Bidding Stakes
March 7, 2013
Sir Craig Reedie, chairman of the evaluation commission of the IOC, was guarded in the comments he made on summing up the four-day visit at its conclusion.
But he had no hesitation in acknowledging the high standard of the manner in which the Japanese had not only set out their proposals but also the full support from the highest levels of Japanese society and politics.
Dancing attendance on the commission had been a full range of society from Crown Prince Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Olympic hopefuls of the future.
Reedie opened his review by noting the importance of his panel’s bid analysis because the Olympic Games “are a multi-billion-dollar business” and acknowledged the
“We were hugely impressed,” he added, “by the quality of the bid presentations. They were excellent in every way, reflecting great credit on all the hard work.”
Those presentations, covering the 14 themes at the heart of Games organisation, had been led by “senior members of the Japanese government starting with the Prime Minister and First Secretary of the Treasury . . . and they have answered our questions very openly and well.”
But the Olympics are, to the world at large, all about sport and Reedie appeared particularly please by the commission’s interaction with a selection of
He said: “It has been very interesting to speak to the Olympians and Paralympians so the whole [representative] spectrum has been there. They have been prepared to tell us their hopes and their dreams for their city and we rate that very highly.”
Reedie, who was a member of the London 2012 organising committee and is now an IOC vice-prsident, left no doubt about the challenge ahead if
“Hosting the Olympic Games,” he said, “is the most challenging project any city or country can undertake, that’s why the IOC allows seven years of preparations.”
As Reedie said, he and his team did not possess a crystal ball and have to make their assessments in terms of what they see and are told, and “try to take as reasoned a view of the future as we can.”
Speculation had abounded about whether being the first on the commission’s whistle-stop tour was an advantage or disadvantage. That remains a subject for discussion.
What can be reported from the Olympic bid front line is that
Keir Radnedge has been covering football worldwide for more than 40 years, writing 33 books, from tournament guides to comprehensive encyclopedias, aimed at all ages.
His journalism career included The Daily Mail for 20 years as well as The Guardian and other national newspapers and magazines in the UK and around the world. He is a former editor, and remains a lead columnist, with World Soccer, generally recognised as the premier English language magazine on global football.
In addition to his writing, Keir has been a regular analyst for BBC radio and television, Sky Sports, Sky News, Aljazeera and CNN.
Keir Radnedge’s Twitter: @KeirRadnedge