`Madrid strong candidate to host 2020 Olympics`

Last Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 14:21

Madrid: Alejandro Blanco, the president of the Spanish Olympic Committee, has expressed confidence over Madrid`s bid as the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Blanco, who also heads Madrid`s bid committee, said that Madrid will win the hosting rights after having failed on its past two attempts fo the 2012 and the 2016 Games, reports Xinhua.

Blanco`s comments came a day after the Madrid 2020 bid officially presented its dossier for the 2020 Games to the press.

The Madrid bid is based on austerity, reflecting the current economic climate and will look to use venues that have already been constructed, such as the bullring in Las Ventas and the Caja Magica, which hosts the annual Madrid Masters Tennis tournament, as the site of many of the events.

Madrid is competing against Tokyo and Istanbul, but Blanco is confident that Madrid will this time avoid the disappointment of missing out on the Games as happened in 2012 and 2016. The 2020 host city will be announced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sept 7 in Buenos Aires.

"We have to be prudent, because we have previously had two excellent projects and others have won, but I think we will win at the third attempt," said Blanco.

"Madrid has a very solid project, very compact and in tune with reality and we have the sporting prestige in line with the success of our teams as well as with our organization," he said.

Blanco insists that economic crisis, which will last at least till 2014, would not hinder the bid, given that much of the infrastructure was already in place.

"The crisis won`t be a problem because there was a lot of investment made in the 2012 and 2016 bids. For the moment we will not invest more until we get the Games," he said.

"It is financially worthwhile in economic terms and in terms of job creation and also socially, because at the moment there is no new project in Spain that would generate so much money or so many jobs," he said, adding that around 300,000 jobs would be created in a country with around 5 million people currently out of work.

"Not just that, but for seven years Madrid would also be a reference point for all of the world," assured Blanco.

Madrid`s bid is taking part in an atmosphere of increased nationalism in the Basque and Catalan regions of Spain and those apparent divisions could harm the unity of a Spanish bid, but Blanco insisted that was not the case.

"Barcelona has given total support to Madrid`s candidacy, but the city and the local authority and the community have supported us and given us guarantees: we will not have any problems," he said, adding that the Madrid bid had a lot to learn from the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona.

"It was a great exhibition of Spanish sport and the main reason it was a success is that nobody has been able to get so many citizens to participate. We need to do that," concluded Blanco.

IANS



First Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 14:26

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