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Tuesday, July 26, 2011 (read 850 times)
 

Third Time Lucky for Madrid's Olympic Dream?

by Matthew Leake

Last week the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón confirmed that the city will bid to host the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020. This is the third consecutive time the city has been a candidate to hold the games, having lost out to next year’s hosts, London for 2012 as well as Río de Janeiro for 2016, which will be the first time Latin America has hosted the games.

The Spanish Government’s spokesman and Minister for Development, José Blanco, voiced the cabinet’s support for the Madrid candidacy as it would not incur much extra cost, as most of the infrastructure needed to host the spectacle is approaching completion, an important matter for all Spaniards during the economic crisis. Mayor Ruiz-Gallardón was also keen to point out that in spite of its two recently unsuccessful bids, the "Olympic spirit is still alive" among Madrileños.

Perhaps one reason for Madrid’s lack of success in the past is down to the fact that Spain actually hosted the Olympics fairly recently, in Barcelona back in 1992. The games did wonders to boost Barcelona’s profile for both tourism and business, transforming it into one of the most visited cities in Europe after London, Paris and Rome. The Spanish Government hopes for a similar boost come 2020.

However, the bid faces stiff competition as Madrid is not the only city hoping to host the games. So far Rome, Istanbul and Tokyo have also been confirmed. The International Olympic Committee has also made it clear that if an African city was to be a legitimate candidate then they would be the favourites, as it would be the first Olympics to be hosted on the continent. Egypt, Kenya and Casablanca have all shown intent so far.

Those behind Madrid’s bid are hoping that 2020 will be their year after showing continued persistence and enthusiasm across three bids. So will it be third time lucky for Madrid? They still have two years to prepare for the IOC who will carry out an inspection of the proposed facilities in April 2013 with the decision to be announced later in September. Buena suerte!


Keywords: madrid, barcelona, olympics in spain, 2020 olympics, madrid olympic bid, 2020 olympic games, 1992 olympics,latin america

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