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Strengths and weaknesses of 2020 Olympic bid cities

13 Comments

The host city for the 2020 Summer Olympics will be voted on by the 100+ International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in Buenos Aires next Saturday.

AFP runs the rule over the three candidates strengths and weaknesses (in the order they make their final presentations to the IOC members):

ISTANBUL

Strengths

The fifth time they have bid but this one bears no comparisons to the previous four. This has been a dynamic, innovative and emotional candidature led with great elan by the charismatic successful businessman and former professional basketball player Hasan Arat. IOC members love the term legacy and Istanbul provides that as it would be the first predominantly Muslim country to host the Games. "The Olympic Movement can open the door to a new culture," Arat told AFP in August. "It can bridge Olympic culture to new culture. A new bridge to historical impact, with 8000 years of history the Olympic Movement is not just giving the Olympic Games to a city - they (the IOC) would be giving hope, trust and peace to a region." Full government support also lends weight to their bid.

Weaknesses

Memories still linger of the heavy-handed manner the Turkish government reacted to anti-government protests which according to police estimates saw some 2.5 million people in June take to the streets in nearly 80 cities for three weeks to demand Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's resignation. Five people were killed and more than 8,000 injured in the civil unrest. The popular protests in Brazil during the Confederations Cup by people angry at money being invested in sporting events - the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro - instead of public services has also made some members nervous of giving a second successive Summer Games to another developing country. Transport too may prove a concern.

TOKYO

Strengths

A safe and secure pair of hands to host the Games, there is no doubt that they would not give the IOC too many sleepless nights in terms of preparation or organization of the Games. Have taken on board advice since the failed 2016 bid and made massive improvements resulting in stronger popular support and a much more compact and unified bid. "In these uncertain times Tokyo will offer certainty," their bid president Tsunekazu Takeda told AFP in August. "Tokyo 2020 will be a safe pair of hands and much more. Tokyo is the safest city in the world and provides financial stability."

On a more emotional level the bid says that by hosting the Games it will help to heal the wounds left by the massive quake and tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 people in Japan in 2011. "The Bid process - and ultimately having the chance to host the Games - is helping Japan heal and re-unite after a difficult 2011," Takeda told AFP in an interview in November, 2012.

Weaknesses

The fallout from the tsunami which has seen radioactive groundwater leak outside the nuclear plant of Fukushima, confirming long-held suspicions of ocean contamination from the shattered reactors, will weigh on members minds even if it is as Takeda said 250 km away from Tokyo. Their lack of passion leads many to query do they either really want the Games or are they complacent and expect the vote to be a simple coronation. "We are not a passionate people on the outside," is the reply. Have not been helped either by unsavory remarks made by both Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose and former Olympian and now Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso for which both then apologized. They will need to be on their guard in the final week of lobbying as any similar gaffes could prove decisive.

MADRID

Strengths

Their resilience despite the dire state of the Spanish economy was rewarded when a superb technical presentation to the IOC members in Lausanne in July changed many members perceptions about them and gave them the momentum which propelled them into potential winners. The majority of the stadia are built - thanks to keeping their promises from two previous bids for the 2012 and 2016 Games - and infrastructure is already in place. "If there has been progress made it is Madrid," said veteran IOC member Dick Pound after the presentation. "Their presentation has won them points.

Last time with Rio it changed the course of the race, this time a little bit." Latest economic data also suggested there is light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel. Activity in the eurozone's fourth largest economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the April-June period compared to a 0.4% drop in the first quarter of the year. As to whether they still have enough left in the tank their dynamic international chief executive and two-time yachting Olympic gold medalist Theresa Zabell has no doubts. "What do you do in the final stretch? You sprint, and we have a lot of energy left."

Weaknesses

Some wonder how Madrid can improve on their presentation in Lausanne where the appearance of the heir to the Spanish throne and former Olympian Crown Prince Felipe had the desired effect on the members. "How can you better that? They will need another card up their sleeve for the final presentation," one IOC member said.

© (C) 2013 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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No Tokyo 2020 Olympics please, fix the Fukushima mess first

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Tokyo is The Place! Turkey as well as Spain are way too Dangerous in todays world I can take the family with not too many worries, Japan is no Shangri- la but At least I can walk about and not worry about train stations being bombed or violent protests!- And someone could put a muzzle on Inose & Aso!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Tokyo is the safest city in the world

Seriously? It certainly isn't

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

gogogo: because you think Fukushima is in Tokyo?

-2 ( +2 / -5 )

Umm, how much more power will need to be generated to host these games? Is the LDP planning on restarting the nukes to generate this electricity? Lots of talk about the Tokai, Nankai trough earthquake, and Fukushima is nowhere near under control, so how can Japan claim that it is safe? Has anyone really believed in the government and TEPCO's reporting since 3/11? If not, then how can it be claimed that it is safe? There's a claim that hosting the games will heal the trauma from 3/11. Really now? If I were from Fukushima and living in temporary housing without any livlihood, and I see all the money being squandered on the pageantry of the Olympics instead of helping me, you think I'm going to heal?

Gimmee a break, get the priorities straight. To heal the wound is to treat it and it's not by getting drunk and getting loaded up on feel good. You also need to address the cause of the wound, in order to prevent it from happening again. To date, I don't see diddly of either....

For your reference, the cause is not the earthquake and the tsunami folks, it is corruption and greed, and no one has been held accountable yet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

dbsaiya - well said. Fix Fukushima first. Put people back in their own homes, then think about hosting the Olympics.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seriously? It certainly isn't [safe]

It's safer than Istanbul and Madrid.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Madrid is a shoe in. And this is direct from a member of the JOC who is now on his way to Buenos Aires for the vote.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JOC left already according to the news this morning. Missed the flight?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@sasukene: Which JOC member commented?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Have not been helped either by unsavory remarks made by both Tokyo Gov Naoki Inose and former Olympian and now Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso"

That's for sure.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Which city will generate huge advertisement income from Japan Inc? Do you think Toshiba, Toyota, Nintendo, Nissan, Sony, Honda, NEC, and many more will spend money in Istanbul or Madrid? Big income to Tokyo, I'd bet.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Toshiko you need to find new excuses...at least half of those companies are going through huge financial crisis, and the ones who are ok will sponsor anyway any of the cities...

Just for your information, these were the Worldwide Partners of London 2012 Olympic Games...(the ones who put most of the money):

Coca Cola - US

Dow - US

Acer - Taiwan

Atos - France

GE - US

MacDonalds - US

Omega - Switzerland

Panasonic - Japan

P&G - US

Samsung - Korea

Visa - US

Oooops! No UK companies! why? Because there is no need, its a GLOBAL event...ah! and 1 Japan Inc. company!!

Anyway, I will be happy if Tokyo get them but there is other city that is my favourite ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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