Leaders of Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games attended Saturday’s Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) General Assembly in Nadi, Fiji, pledging to connect Turkey’s 31 million young people with the power of the Olympic Movement.
The senior bid delegation included Hasan Arat, Chairman of Istanbul 2020, Nese Gundogan, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey, and Istanbul 2020 Director of Sport, Alp Berker.
The bid committee shared Istanbul’s plans for the NOC family in 2020.
According to an International Olympic Committee (IOC) poll, nearly five million young people in Istanbul are backing its bid for the 2020 Games.
Arat told the Assembly, “the Istanbul 2020 bid committee is very grateful to the delegates at ONOC for the insight they have shared. We are honoured to have been invited, and to have had the experience to listen and learn from the fresh ideas on youth engagement presented to us here in Nadi. Even though we are from different parts of the world, it is clear the ONOC nations face the same challenges and opportunities we face in Turkey. Getting young people to play and stay in sport is a top priority for the entire Olympic family. Istanbul 2020 is committed to providing fresh opportunities for the region’s young people in an environment where innovation and young entrepreneurism can thrive. The first ever Games in the region will help realize the full potential of our young population”.
Berker added, “young people in Turkey are passionate about sport, and about Istanbul’s bid to host the first ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in Turkey in 2020. We are currently investing USD 500 million annually into sports participation and development programs, courtesy of our National Sports Plan, in order to increase youth engagement. Hosting the Games here would stimulate even greater youth participation in sport. We hope, through the Games, to open up the full spectrum of Olympic and Paralympic sports for young people across the nation and the region”.