Mercedes Coghen, Madrid 2016 bid chief, and Manuel Cobo, vice mayor of Madrid, called Wednesday’s tour of the city’s Olympic venues by the members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission “spectacular”.
Coghen said, “we wanted to be precise with our timings, and we managed that – in fact with 30 minutes in hand”, adding, “it all went off well”..
With 77 per cent of the venues either already built or underway Cobo said, “we were able to see the proximity of Ifema to the Olympic Village and the IOC members could see for themselves how many venues we already have built”.
Wednesday morning the commission visited the site of the stadium to be used for the 2016 Games – the La Peineta Stadium in the east of Madrid. The stadium is already undergoing work to convert it into a stadium with capacity for 73,000 spectators reports Xinhua.
Later they toured the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, and visited the gymnastic pavilion and the hockey centre.
Xinhua reports the delegation said it was satisfied with the location of the media centre and of the accessibility of the Paralympic athletes in all the venues.
Other venues visited were those for wrestling, weight lifting, badminton, table tennis, boxing, and the “Magic Box” tennis centre.
Meanwhile the presentation of Ramiro Lahera, Madrid 2016 Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, touched on three main themes – protection and promotion of the Games and support of Madrid 2016’s marketing under the motto “Feeling the experience is in your hands”.
There will be 50,000 advertising spaces reserved for the IOC, the organizing committee and their sponsors, and Olympic values will be promoted on the streets and on public transport, as well as spaces in airports in Madrid and the sub venues.
Wednesday Nawal el Moutawakel, chair of the IOC commission, was summoned back to Morocco where she is the sport minister, after receiving a call from King Mohammed VI, reports the Spanish news agency Efe. She had to return because the Moroccan government was passing an important sport law.
She reportedly handed over her duties to Wu Ching-Kuo, president of the International Boxing Association after taking part in Wednesday’s tour of the proposed venues.
However Thursday the Associated Press reported she would be back Friday when the five-day tour ends.
Madrid organizers said they were “completely confident it will have no impact on the success of the IOC visit”.
Meanwhile, there are reports that Rio de Janeiro has filed a written complaint with the IOC after one of Madrid’s paid consultants was caught posing as a journalist during the evaluation’s commission’s visit to the city last week.
ABC reports spying on the competition isn’t uncommon. Apparently when the IOC was in Chicago last month, former Olympic writer Morley Myers came to the city on a journalist credential. He admitted to ABC 7 he is a paid consultant to Tokyo’s 2016 bid.
According to ABC, a spokesman for Chicago’s bid said, “given our commitment to publicize our event to as many influential people as possible…we would have granted him a credential no matter who he was working for”.