Madrid limbers up for Olympic bid
3 March 2004, MADRID - Madrid began its ambitious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games by committing to a daring project Wednesday.
3 March 2004
MADRID - Madrid began its ambitious bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games by committing to a daring project Wednesday.
The Spanish capital, which is competing with Paris, London, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Istanbul, is convinced it will be able to land Spain its second Olympiad ever.
Barcelona hosted the games in 1992.
Madrid approved Wednesday the construction of an "Olympic Ring", designed to contain all its major sports facilities.
It will be the only city to allow athletes to walk from their accommodation to the main stadium.
The "ring" would also contain several sports facilities, including a 75,000-seat stadium and a futuristic water sports centre with room for 20,000 spectators.
The project will entail remodelling 1,208,000 square metres (12,985,756 sq ft) of space, devoting one-third to green spaces and one-sixth to streets and access roads.
The project will be one of the most important makeovers the city has seen in decades.
Construction has already started and will be completed until 2007, whether Madrid is granted the Olympics or not, said Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon.
The project plans to build a Green Cycling Ring, a 62-kilometres (39-mile) long path, linking the facilities for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
But 70 percent of all the work is already done, claimed city officials.
Madrid, the only major European city that has never hosted the Olympics, is also expected to base its pitch on its cultural and recreational offerings, which include the art "axis" comprising the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Queen Sofia Contemporary Arts Centre.
The three galleries are about to undergo ambitious remodelling and expansion projects.
Finally, the Madrid-Barajas International Airport is undergoing a major expansion, one the Spanish government says is the largest public works project under way in Europe.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news