2016 Games Bid Briefs – Baku, Chicago, Madrid

The Baku 2016 bid committee has developed a plan to use the walled city of Baku, a UNESCO World Heritage protected site, should it win the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

According to a media release the announcement was made by First Vice-Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov, chairman of Baku 2016, following a meeting with members of the bid’s Supervisory Board.

Built on a site inhabited since the Palaeolthic period, the walled city of Baku reveals evidence of continuous Zoroastrian, Sasanian, Arabic, Persian, Shirvani, Ottoman and Russian culture. The Inner City has preserved much of its 12th century of defence. The 12th century Maiden Tower as built over earlier structures dating from the 7th to 6th centuries BC, and the 15th century Shirvanshah’s Palace is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan’s architecture, said the media release.

The site would take centre stage in the cultural program for the 2016 Games.

Meanwhile Chicago 2016 hopes a food fest will help boost its bid for the 2016 Games. The city will host a three-day gourmet food fest September 26-28 at Millennium Park to elevate the city’s culinary profile and boost its 2016 Summer Olympic bid, Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley said Tuesday.

Called Chicago Gourmet, it will feature “all things foodie”, including samplings of gourmet foods and wines and celebrity chef demonstrations, and could become an annual event.

The program is modeled after one in California.

Tickets will be $150 for a one-day general pass and $250 for a two-day pass. Admission to special events affiliated with the program will be extra.

Madrid hopes its bid for the 2016 Games will get a boost this weekend when it hosts the Triathlon World Cup, the last official world cup before the Beijing Olympics.

Madrid’s Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon said when presenting the World Cup ahead of the competition involving 139 top athletes, the event was a boost to Madrid’s hopes of hosting the Olympics in 2016. He added, “the full public support being shown for the Triathlon event shows how much Madrid lives for its sport and this support is proof that the city can host a very special 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

The Madrid Triathlon involves a 1.5km swim in the Casa de Campo park, a 40km bike ride, and a 10km run. All stages will be contained within the Casa de Campo, a large green area steeped in centuries of history which can be easily accessed via Madrid’s state-of-the-art underground and walkways that connect it with the built up areas of the city, said a media release.

The site meets the strict sustainability criteria required by the International Olympic Committee (IOIC) for Olympic venues.