A day before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) releases its evaluation commission report on the four cities bidding to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games – Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Tokyo – and a month before the IOC votes on the 2016 host city, a report prepared by Germany-based sponsoring consultancy Sport+Markt which was released exclusively to Reuters, shows that 93 per cent of Spanish respondents back Madrid’s bid, closely followed by Chicago and Rio de Janeiro.
Hartmut Zastrow, executive director of Sport+Markt said, “the population’s passion for a sports event is the key to success”. He added, “the Spanish enthusiasm for Madrid’s bid is very remarkable. Madrid’s chances are said to be low as the Summer Games in 2012 in London are already on European soil”.
According to the report just 72 per cent of 1,000 people interviewed across Japan judged its bid “good or very good”.
Zastrow said, “the bid of Tokyo does not have enough support in its own country so far. This weakens the Japanese bid immensely”.
The report said Rio has 89 per cent of nationwide support while Reuters reports bookmakers’ favourite Chicago is second with 92 per cent of public backing in the United States.
Meanwhile Gerhard Heiberg, an IOC executive board member from Norway, called the IOC’s evaluation report to be released Wednesday “very important”. He said, “at this stage there is no front-runner and no one lagging behind. All are on an equal basis. The report will be studied by IOC members perhaps more than before”.
Chicago 2016 bid leader Patrick Ryan said, “the evaluation report is a very important step in this process”, reports the Associated Press. “It will hopefully give the entire membership a snapshot of the city that the evaluation commission visited. As the least well known of the four cities, hopefully the full membership will have a better understanding of the type of Games Chicago would offer after this report comes out”.
Tokyo bid leader Dr. Ichiro Kono said the level of government support remains the same and that Tokyo has the strongest financial guarantees during a time of global economic downturn. He said, “we offer the safest, securest, most risk-free and most dependable bid. This is especially critical considering today’s uncertain environment”.
Mercedes Coghen, head of Madrid 2016 said, “we have worked extremely hard on every aspect of our bid and all the hard yards have put us in a strong position for the final run to the finishing line. We believe we are in a good position to win but there is no room for any complacency. It is still all to play for”.
Carlos Roberto Osorio, bid chief executive of Rio 2016 said, “we await this report with a little bit of anxiety but confident as well. We think we have a very strong technical project. We are confident that our message is getting through clearly to the IOC members”.