Madrid officially launches bid for 2020 Olympics
Madrid: The Spanish Olympic Committee (SOC) has officially launched its campaign for Madrid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
The event, which was held in the offices of the SOC, also saw the presentation of the official logo for the 2020 campaign.
Madrid has twice previously presented its candidacy to host the Olympics, finishing third behind London and Paris in the race to 2012 and losing out to Rio de Janeiro in its bid for the 2016 edition.
The 2020 bid will be led by the committee president, Alejandro Blanco, who replaces former Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, as the leader of the campaign.
Blanco will be assisted by a team which includes former Olympic medal winner Teresa Zabel, who will look after international relations, and Victor Sanchez Naranjo, who is a former General Secretary of the International Fencing Federation.
The logo for the bid was chosen from a competition which had been contested amongst the young Spanish designers and the winning design was chosen for its best representation of the Olympic values of solidarity and inclusion, as well as inspiring young people to participate.
The winning design is based on the construction of the famous Madrid monument, the "Puerta de Alcala" with five arches signifying a welcome to the five continents.
The act also saw the presentation of the official website for Madrid`s 2020 candidacy, www.madrid2020.es. The web includes opportunities for "Madrilenos" to contribute articles, photos and videos to help promote the Spanish capital.
Alejandro Blanco highlighted the importance of the previous bids to host the Games, which had shown the way to success.
Blanco said that a third bid confirmed Madrid`s desire to host the Olympics, stressing that the bid would be financially austere, ecologically sound and backed by the high level of success from Spanish sportspersons in major events.
He said no city in the world had organised more major sports events in recent years than Madrid and that the city already enjoys an ample sporting infrastructure, while the AVE high-speed train provides rapid links to other venues.
Finally, Blanco said the bid would include education and integration projects for young people, which was one of the key factors.
Ignacio Gonzalez, the vice president of the Community of Madrid, commented that the candidacy represented a collective dream held by the city to organise the Games.
Spanish Secretary of State for Sport Miguel Cardenal said the candidacy counted on the total support of the government and highlighted that the success Spain has enjoyed in international sport and in hosting major events, was a guarantee for success.
Madrid will compete against Istanbul, Tokyo, Rome and Baku and Doha in the race to host the 2020 Olympics and the winning city will be named Sep 7, 2013 in an event held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.