Crunch time for Madrid 2012 Olympics bid

3rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 February 2005, MADRID - The Spanish capital's bid to stage the 2012 Olympics came under the spotlight as the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission began its inspection of Madrid's plans.

3 February 2005

MADRID - The Spanish capital's bid to stage the 2012 Olympics came under the spotlight as the International Olympic Committee's evaluation commission began its inspection of Madrid's plans.

The Spanish capital is making its first presentations and King Juan Carlos is due to host a special dinner at the Royal Palace on Thursday evening.

Amid domestic political rows in Spain over Basque independence, Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: "Nothing would unite Spain more than the Olympics."

The 13-strong IOC team will spend four days in Madrid before visiting London, New York, Paris and Moscow.

It will publish its findings in May, one month before the final IOC vote.

Although its verdict is not binding, a critical report on any of the five cities would be considered disastrous.

Paris is considered the current favourite to win the vote in Singapore on 6 July, followed by London, Madrid and New York, with Moscow the outsider.

Madrid, which finished second in the IOC's preliminary evaluation last year, is hoping its promise to put on a "green" Games will give it the edge over its rivals.

Its bid also highlights the city's high-quality public transport network, modern infrastructure and party atmosphere.

Posters proclaiming "We're Ready for You" have been displayed across the city to welcome the inspectors.

"The visit is decisive. It's all important for the candidacy," said Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon.

"We presented the best dossier. The commission has to now check that that dossier reflects reality."

The IOC team is led by Moroccan Nawal El Moutawakel, who won the Olympic women's 400m hurdles title at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

It includes transport, environmental and Paralympic experts, and Namibian sprinter Frankie Fredericks is the athletes' representative.

Thursday's schedule includes presentations on a range of topics such as the city's political and economic climate, hotel facilities, marketing and transport.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio is due to speak about security plans.

The IOC inspectors will get to see the city's sports facilities and planned venue sites before the visit ends on Sunday.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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