The four candidates for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Tokyo, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Chicago, presented their bids Tuesday to members of the Oceania National Olympic Committees in Queenstown New Zealand.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge attended the official opening of the meeting and according to the Associated Press he reassured members of the strength of the Olympic movement and of the bids from the candidate cities. He said, “the financial position of organizing committees is solid. There’s absolutely no concern to have. We have also a very strong assurance from the level of candidate cities”.
Ichiro Kono, chairman and chief executive officer of Tokyo 2016 told the members, “there is a real danger of a deep global recession during the timing of construction for the Games”. He said Tokyo had already secured $4 billion in funding, and the bid had the full support from the upper and lower houses of the Japanese parliament.
Tokyo unveiled a new dimension to its bid, ensuring that youth credibility and relevance is key to its campaign. The bid committee introduced Yaya Yamamoto, its new Director of Youth and Sport.
Kono said, “we created the special position of Director of Youth and Sport because Tokyo 2016 is serious about connecting with youth in every corner of the world. Yaya’s job is to ensure that young people are listened to and have a sense of ownership in everything Tokyo 2016 does”.
Carlos Osorio, Secretary General of Rio 2016, said millions from the capital budget was already being spent on roads and an airport renovation, and improving infrastructure across Brazil.
He said the Brazilian government has established a $700 million set-up fund, an investment which made the bid’s financial model certain, adding that the national economy was strong and could withstand the worldwide economic downturn with little impact.
Osorio added, “we are presenting a 100 per cent secure solution for the Games. Trying to bring the Olympics to South America for the first time, Rio is highlighting the Pan American Games in 2007, as well as its status as host of the 2014 World Cup”.
Madrid 2016 said the Spanish project has guaranteed financial and popular backing, that it is realistic and on track, and that it will be the first true Green Games with its commitment to the environment and sustainability.
Madrid also emphasized the Spanish bid’s focus on sustainability. Madrid’s Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said, “our whole project is committed to the environment”, detailing how the Madrid Games would incorporate green fleets for transport, the regeneration of 800 hectares into new green spaces, and the use of renewable energy in all venues.
Madrid calls itself the “safest choice” because it has 77 per cent of venues ready or under construction.
The Associate Press reports Brazilian representatives committed to no bundling of ticket prices and fair travel grants based on full fare economy tickets for all participants.
Chicago representative Anita Defrantz said, following the formal presentations, that no specific inducements were made, although there would be some for smaller nations, reports the Associated Press.
She said, “we’ve seen these things a lot of the time. Often these things become less of an offer by the time you get to the Games. We stay away from this sort of thing. We want to be sure we do what we say”.
According to AAP Chicago “milked” its personal connection to U.S. President Barrack Obama.
Senior Australian Olympic official Kevan Gosper, who assessed the presentations said, “Chicago of course said Obama is from their state and the city itself. I think that they think that, that’s helpful”.