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Will it be third time lucky for Spain?

Following failed Olympic bids in 2012 and 2016, head of Spanish Olympic Committee is still confident about 2020 chances.
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2013 16:29
Blanco, chief of the Madrid 2020 organisation, says the Spanish people are behind bid despite recession [EPA]

The head of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco has claimed Madrid's candidacy to host the 2020 Olympic Games presents the most realistic option.

The bid is the Spanish capital's third consecutive try for the games after failed bids for the 2012 and 2016 games, however Blanco believes that previous planning could count in their favour this time round as much of the infrastructure required has already been installed.

"Spain is used to holding world class sporting events and will host world championships in six different Olympic sports before 2020"

Head of Spanish Olympic Comittee, Alejandro Blanco

"This is a very strong bid, but also a realistic bid," he told reporters.

"Spain is used to holding world class sporting events and will host world championships in six different Olympic sports before 2020."

Blanco estimated that with 28 of the 35 proposed venues already fully completed, the remaining cost of the games would only total $1.954bn, drastically less than the London 2012 games cost.

Madrid mayor Ana Botello meanwhile insisted that Madrid would learn from London's experience by using famous city landmarks as venues to control costs.

The beach volleyball event, which was hosted at Horse Guards Parade in London would take place at Retiro park in the heart of the city, whilst the famous Las Ventas bull ring would host the basketball event.

Swelling support

Blanco also said that despite the economic turmoil in Spain at the moment, the Madrid bid could count on significantly more public support for the bid than its competitors Tokyo and Istanbul.

In surveys carried out by both the bid team and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) the bid carried overwhelming support both nationally and amongst the city's population.

"There have been two surveys, which not only show great support for the bid, but that the popularity of the bid has grown.

"In the latest survey carried out, the bid had the support of 83% of the Madrid population and 76% of the national population.

"Moreover, the most encouraging statistic is that 90% of people aged under 35 favour the bid. This shows that it is a bid looking to the future and young people see it as the best way to help the country towards economic recovery."

The IOC evaluation committee will visit Madrid next week to make their conclusions on the Spanish capital's plans for the games.

Once all three candidate cities have been evaluated by the committee a report will be published for IOC members in July with a final decision to be taken on which city will host the games to be taken on September 7 in Buenos Aires.

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Source:
AFP
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