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Q&a With Madrid 2016 Bid Leader Mercedes Coghen


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Q&A with Madrid 2016 bid leader Mercedes Coghen

Sep 23, 10:02 pm EDT

BERLIN, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee will elect the winning bid for the 2016 Olympics on Oct. 2. Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid are bidding.

Herewith a Q&A with Madrid 2016 bid chief Mercedes Coghen.

REUTERS: Why should your city be awarded the 2016 Olympics?

COGHEN: “Madrid 2016 is the Games with the ‘Human Touch’. Madrid 2016 is the safest bid. Madrid 2016 is the bid we can all count on - for fun, for sporting excellence, for the future of Olympism and for the world.

“It is compact, environmentally friendly and very well supported already. It is fully financed and guaranteed. It has everything it takes to stage a successful, moving and memorable Olympic Games.

“We have the experience, the expertise and the passion.”

REUTERS: What is the strength of your bid and what would you want to improve if you had more time?

COGHEN: “Very simply, Madrid is an amazing city. It is ready and able to take the Games in swifter, higher, stronger directions.

“We made a bid for the Games four years ago and have time to consider our project and make adjustments to present an even stronger bid this time around.

“The only thing we can improve is how we demonstrate the strength of the project. It is there for all to see, and Spanish athletes are currently performing at the top of their game in sports across the world.

“That’s because we have amazing facilities and deep passion for sport in Spain. As our capital, Madrid is an international sports city - for fans, tourists, athletes and citizens.”

REUTERS: Given that some recent Games have left behind little in terms of legacy, what would the legacy be for your city and the IOC, should it win the Games?

COGHEN: “The technical project of Madrid is highly advanced so we will set a benchmark for the world in what an Olympic city can be and show a new way of living together for urban development and social integration.

“Our venues will be used to benefit the city and the world as a training and competing platform. Some, such as the temporary venues, will be donated to developing countries. The Olympic stadium will become a new home for top football club Atletico Madrid.

“All communities within Madrid will benefit from improved facilities and a renewed energy for sport in their lives.”

REUTERS: With bids forced to follow a strict set of IOC guidelines and criteria, what is the innovative aspect of your proposal that makes it unique?

COGHEN: “There are two things to bear in mind here. With the current global crisis it is really important for the IOC to have a partner it knows can deliver a fantastic Olympic event.

“The context of this vote is the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. With so many of our venues so advanced and with the experience and expertise of international events we already have in Spain, that assurance becomes an innovation in a world with so many questions.

“Secondly, Madrid is a city that lives sport and lives for sport, in our parks, streets, homes, gardens, schools and sports centres. We offer not simply an amazing event which will be well supported and popular but a new model for urban living.

“Already over half of the world’s population lives in cities and that could increase to 75 percent by 2025. So we will show, in Madrid, a new urban model for living together with sport and Olympic values at the heart of civic life.”

REUTERS: How is your Games budget structured and what sort of guarantees are you offering the IOC?

COGHEN: “In total, the budget is $2,600 million dollars and can be considered balanced, easy to manage and harmonised. The Games will be completely self-financing with subsidies dedicated exclusively to the Paralympic Games.

“More than 40 percent of the income is guaranteed by the IOC’s contribution, TOP sponsors and the Paralympic subsidies supplied by the three public administrations.

“Another 50 percent comes from local sponsorship, licences and ticket revenues. In other words, 90 percent of the income is already covered, and everything is 100 percent underwritten by the Spanish State.”

REUTERS: What impact has the financial crisis had on your plans and do you see it affecting the vote?

COGHEN: “The crisis is a problem for the world. We are all citizens of that world and sport is a vital part of our lives, so anything that is a risk for sport is a risk for people everywhere.

“Happily we have a strong economy, a solid base of foundations and political commitment and a huge desire for the 2016 Games in Spain. Our corporate sponsors stand at 68, including major multi-nationals, and they have pledged 70 percent of the funding for the event.

“The rest is met by state funding, ticket sales and associated revenues, and everything is 100 percent underwritten by the Spanish government.”

REUTERS: In terms of major venue construction what still needs to be built and what is already existing?

COGHEN: “Many of our venues are either already built or underway, such as the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. 77 percent of the sports’ venues are in hand.

“With others the land is already reserved so the project is all ready to go and can be completed in a clear timeframe. Our Mayor has already commented that Madrid could host the 2012 Olympics, our venues are so advanced!

“Of course, Madrid is a great world city so we have 100 percent of the necessary infrastructure in place for an event on this scale.”

REUTERS: How much do you believe sponsors/broadcasters can influence the 2016 vote as major deals (including U.S. broadcasting rights and new TOP sponsors) are still pending?

COGHEN: “That is really a question for the IOC. Time zones are important for broadcasters and Madrid does offer advantages for spectator timetables throughout the world, regardless of time zone.

“We know we can offer all broadcasters a fantastic time and great facilities in Madrid, and many have said that already.”

REUTERS: What political support will you have on-site in Copenhagen?

COGHEN: “We will be taking the full support of all Spain with us to Copenhagen. Many friends and supporters will be with us, including our bid team.

“The levels of government will be represented by our Mayor, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, regional president Esperanza Aguirre, and Prime Minister (Jose Luis Rodriguez) Zapatero. Another high profile former Olympian will be with us, our King, Juan Carlos.

“He represents the whole of Spain because it is our national bid. We all want the Olympics in Madrid in 2016 and every one of our leaders knows that.

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Q&A with Madrid 2016 bid leader Mercedes Coghen

Sep 23, 10:02 pm EDT

BERLIN, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee will elect the winning bid for the 2016 Olympics on Oct. 2. Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid are bidding.

Herewith a Q&A with Madrid 2016 bid chief Mercedes Coghen.

REUTERS: Why should your city be awarded the 2016 Olympics?

COGHEN: “Madrid 2016 is the Games with the ‘Human Touch’. Madrid 2016 is the safest bid. Madrid 2016 is the bid we can all count on - for fun, for sporting excellence, for the future of Olympism and for the world.

“It is compact, environmentally friendly and very well supported already. It is fully financed and guaranteed. It has everything it takes to stage a successful, moving and memorable Olympic Games.

“We have the experience, the expertise and the passion.”

REUTERS: What is the strength of your bid and what would you want to improve if you had more time?

COGHEN: “Very simply, Madrid is an amazing city. It is ready and able to take the Games in swifter, higher, stronger directions.

“We made a bid for the Games four years ago and have time to consider our project and make adjustments to present an even stronger bid this time around.

“The only thing we can improve is how we demonstrate the strength of the project. It is there for all to see, and Spanish athletes are currently performing at the top of their game in sports across the world.

“That’s because we have amazing facilities and deep passion for sport in Spain. As our capital, Madrid is an international sports city - for fans, tourists, athletes and citizens.”

REUTERS: Given that some recent Games have left behind little in terms of legacy, what would the legacy be for your city and the IOC, should it win the Games?

COGHEN: “The technical project of Madrid is highly advanced so we will set a benchmark for the world in what an Olympic city can be and show a new way of living together for urban development and social integration.

“Our venues will be used to benefit the city and the world as a training and competing platform. Some, such as the temporary venues, will be donated to developing countries. The Olympic stadium will become a new home for top football club Atletico Madrid.

“All communities within Madrid will benefit from improved facilities and a renewed energy for sport in their lives.”

REUTERS: With bids forced to follow a strict set of IOC guidelines and criteria, what is the innovative aspect of your proposal that makes it unique?

COGHEN: “There are two things to bear in mind here. With the current global crisis it is really important for the IOC to have a partner it knows can deliver a fantastic Olympic event.

“The context of this vote is the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. With so many of our venues so advanced and with the experience and expertise of international events we already have in Spain, that assurance becomes an innovation in a world with so many questions.

“Secondly, Madrid is a city that lives sport and lives for sport, in our parks, streets, homes, gardens, schools and sports centres. We offer not simply an amazing event which will be well supported and popular but a new model for urban living.

“Already over half of the world’s population lives in cities and that could increase to 75 percent by 2025. So we will show, in Madrid, a new urban model for living together with sport and Olympic values at the heart of civic life.”

REUTERS: How is your Games budget structured and what sort of guarantees are you offering the IOC?

COGHEN: “In total, the budget is $2,600 million dollars and can be considered balanced, easy to manage and harmonised. The Games will be completely self-financing with subsidies dedicated exclusively to the Paralympic Games.

“More than 40 percent of the income is guaranteed by the IOC’s contribution, TOP sponsors and the Paralympic subsidies supplied by the three public administrations.

“Another 50 percent comes from local sponsorship, licences and ticket revenues. In other words, 90 percent of the income is already covered, and everything is 100 percent underwritten by the Spanish State.”

REUTERS: What impact has the financial crisis had on your plans and do you see it affecting the vote?

COGHEN: “The crisis is a problem for the world. We are all citizens of that world and sport is a vital part of our lives, so anything that is a risk for sport is a risk for people everywhere.

“Happily we have a strong economy, a solid base of foundations and political commitment and a huge desire for the 2016 Games in Spain. Our corporate sponsors stand at 68, including major multi-nationals, and they have pledged 70 percent of the funding for the event.

“The rest is met by state funding, ticket sales and associated revenues, and everything is 100 percent underwritten by the Spanish government.”

REUTERS: In terms of major venue construction what still needs to be built and what is already existing?

COGHEN: “Many of our venues are either already built or underway, such as the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre. 77 percent of the sports’ venues are in hand.

“With others the land is already reserved so the project is all ready to go and can be completed in a clear timeframe. Our Mayor has already commented that Madrid could host the 2012 Olympics, our venues are so advanced!

“Of course, Madrid is a great world city so we have 100 percent of the necessary infrastructure in place for an event on this scale.”

REUTERS: How much do you believe sponsors/broadcasters can influence the 2016 vote as major deals (including U.S. broadcasting rights and new TOP sponsors) are still pending?

COGHEN: “That is really a question for the IOC. Time zones are important for broadcasters and Madrid does offer advantages for spectator timetables throughout the world, regardless of time zone.

“We know we can offer all broadcasters a fantastic time and great facilities in Madrid, and many have said that already.”

REUTERS: What political support will you have on-site in Copenhagen?

COGHEN: “We will be taking the full support of all Spain with us to Copenhagen. Many friends and supporters will be with us, including our bid team.

“The levels of government will be represented by our Mayor, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, regional president Esperanza Aguirre, and Prime Minister (Jose Luis Rodriguez) Zapatero. Another high profile former Olympian will be with us, our King, Juan Carlos.

“He represents the whole of Spain because it is our national bid. We all want the Olympics in Madrid in 2016 and every one of our leaders knows that.

Hey, Oaky! Thanks for posting this interview :)

I was wondering if you have also missed, as a Madrid supporter, a stronger backing from the Catalan community, just remembering that Barcelona had such a big support of every Spanish area. Why FC Barcelona has not appeared anywhere demonstrating its support to Madrid? I just find it quite interesting because I think rivalry should be put aside in an event like this.

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Hey, Oaky! Thanks for posting this interview :)

I was wondering if you have also missed, as a Madrid supporter, a stronger backing from the Catalan community, just remembering that Barcelona had such a big support of every Spanish area. Why FC Barcelona has not appeared anywhere demonstrating its support to Madrid? I just find it quite interesting because I think rivalry should be put aside in an event like this.

Hey,

Well since I'm not Spanish I probably can't answer that question fully but I suppose to some extent, Catalan support has been missed.

But on the whole Madrid does have the highest national support of the bidding cities so it is obviously doing something right!

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Hey,

Well since I'm not Spanish I probably can't answer that question fully but I suppose to some extent, Catalan support has been missed.

But on the whole Madrid does have the highest national support of the bidding cities so it is obviously doing something right!

For sure it is, although I tend to think that it's a little bit too late. I've been crying out for months remembering that Madrid should amplify the voice worldwide but I guess they have been too confident until the EC report has been released. Therefore they seem scared right now and hopefully will gain the momentum in the very final moments already in Copenhagen. If I'm not wrong, Gallardon has flown today to Denmark. Too soon or smart enough?

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For sure it is, although I tend to think that it's a little bit too late. I've been crying out for months remembering that Madrid should amplify the voice worldwide but I guess they have been too confident until the EC report has been released. Therefore they seem scared right now and hopefully will gain the momentum in the very final moments already in Copenhagen. If I'm not wrong, Gallardon has flown today to Denmark. Too soon or smart enough?

Who knows?

The thing is, Spain has a lot of influence on the IOC by way of Samaranch. Also, Gallardon has been networking with IOC members via being introduced to them.

The biggest concern for me is the IOC continental rotation rule - if that is used in the voting as a factor then Madrid will not win. If it is not used, then Madrid can win. I hope the IOC does not vote in this basis - in 2008 Asia hosted with Beijing, 2010 North America is hosting with Vancouver, 2012 Europe is hosting with London and Innsbruck, 2014 Asia is hosting with Singapore and Sochi can justify itself as both Europe and Asia.

Maybe the IOC will feel Madrid being a European city is not too soon? Or is that wishful thinking?

Hopefully, Madrid's presentation is impressive in selling their bid and how good it is - that's all they can do!

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Who knows?

The thing is, Spain has a lot of influence on the IOC by way of Samaranch. Also, Gallardon has been networking with IOC members via being introduced to them.

The biggest concern for me is the IOC continental rotation rule - if that is used in the voting as a factor then Madrid will not win. If it is not used, then Madrid can win. I hope the IOC does not vote in this basis - in 2008 Asia hosted with Beijing, 2010 North America is hosting with Vancouver, 2012 Europe is hosting with London and Innsbruck, 2014 Asia is hosting with Singapore and Sochi can justify itself as both Europe and Asia.

Maybe the IOC will feel Madrid being a European city is not too soon? Or is that wishful thinking?

Hopefully, Madrid's presentation is impressive in selling their bid and how good it is - that's all they can do!

The smart card is the cultural rotation. Madrid represents a brand new way to host, because I really agree that London has more links with Chicago than Madrid. For sure Rio is Latino too and the South America card has been played very good by Brazil.

Anyway we can't pretend that things are not the way they actually are, and the IOC won't forget at any moment that Spain is in Europe. Although I think it's a wishful thinking from you (which I share happily :)), I can't help but remembering that Spain has been labeled many times as African. Remember that sentence "Africa starts on the Pyrenees"? So it could be nice to be Africa the first new frontier to host ;)

Seriously, I do think now that the lobbying that has been done during this four years could be higher than I've ever thought. I was kinda shocked when I read that Gallardon dropped he would resign if Madrid fails to win in Copenhagen. This would drive him very far away from where he wants to be in a near future... Would he say that if he hasn't an ace up his sleeve?

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The smart card is the cultural rotation. Madrid represents a brand new way to host, because I really agree that London has more links with Chicago than Madrid. For sure Rio is Latino too and the South America card has been played very good by Brazil.

Anyway we can't pretend that things are not the way they actually are, and the IOC won't forget at any moment that Spain is in Europe. Although I think it's a wishful thinking from you (which I share happily :)), I can't help but remembering that Spain has been labeled many times as African. Remember that sentence "Africa starts on the Pyrenees"? So it could be nice to be Africa the first new frontier to host ;)

Seriously, I do think now that the lobbying that has been done during this four years could be higher than I've ever thought. I was kinda shocked when I read that Gallardon dropped he would resign if Madrid fails to win in Copenhagen. This would drive him very far away from where he wants to be in a near future... Would he say that if he hasn't an ace up his sleeve?

A betting man's money would be on Chicago or Rio!

However, I share your sentiment that maybe Madrid has a card up it's sleeve. I seem to get the impression that Madrid has a confidence in it's bid. Obviously when Madrid bid again for 2016 it knew that it would have London 2012 before it and the continental issue to deal with.

Maybe Samaranch has been busy at work doing a little behind the scenes hustling.

I really would love to see Madrid win!

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Hey, Oaky! Thanks for posting this interview :)

I was wondering if you have also missed, as a Madrid supporter, a stronger backing from the Catalan community, just remembering that Barcelona had such a big support of every Spanish area. Why FC Barcelona has not appeared anywhere demonstrating its support to Madrid? I just find it quite interesting because I think rivalry should be put aside in an event like this.

Cinderella/Cenerentola/Cenicienta/Cendrillon--

I've been reading your posts, so I know you are a follower of the Madrid bid, and are therefore probably aware that one of the final events in support of Madrid 2016 was a public act involving Mayor Gallardon and the bid team, and Mayor Hereu of Barcelona. It's true that ERC did not give its support, and I think that it ended up looking petty and vindictive in the press; and also the sports commissioner of Cataluña (it being Cataluña, I am tempted to say "commissar") was less than expressive or enthusiastic, citing the general actions of the Generalitat "in approval" of the bid. But I think that Mayor Hereu's very public and publicized gesture speaks on behalf of most Catalonians who (despite voting their terrible regional politicians into office) are not rabid nationalists, ackowledge themselves as Spaniards and reject the minority separatist project...

As it turns out, Madrid does have the strongest popular support among all the bid cities, with approximately 92% of madrileños in favor of the games in their city; and, ironically, a higher figure of 93% among Spaniards in general. By contrast, in Chicago, where I am right now and spent the summer, the most recent poll showed only 47% of Chicagoans want the games; and a massive public act of support, such as the "corazoanada," would have been inconceivable here, where the only people who talk Olympics are the organizers, some politicians--who had to be dragged kicking to agree to financial guarantees just a couple of weeks ago--and the press, which has tried weakly to drum up interest and enthusiasm.

One thing that is little noted in the pro-Chicago comments for the bid and in the IOC bid reviews is that the venues in Chicago are in marginal neighborhoods, where there are serious issues of security and transportation. There is nothing--NOTHING--built. A "temporary" stadium is being proposed for the opening/closing ceremonies and track events, which raises the question--I'm an architect--how do you create a temporary stadium for 80,000 spectators and meet all codes, etc. ? This merely means that the facility will be done with a view to optimize design/construction costs because it MUST stand and be safe, so "temporary" simply means "cheap." But even if you come back and tear down or adapt a huge stadium for a smaller use, how does this comport with stated goals of sustainability and "green" design?

My fear now is that with Obama announcing his trip to Copenhagen, perhaps the fix is in--Obama does not do anything unless it's assured politically. He's left politicians in his own party dangling in the wind when the numbers were not good (to avoid risking his prestige in a losing cause). People think Obama is going to boost Chicago. Perhaps. A more cynical view is that he's going to deliver the broadcast rights for the games to NBC (owned by GE, whose CEO Jeoffrey Immelt, sits on several boards and bodies appointed by Obama, and which has turned the once-independent NBC into a mouthpiece for Obama policies, and stands to profit hugely from Obama "green" technology initiatives).

The old Chicago political machine works on the basis of quid pro quo. A colorful oldtime Chicago politicain used to say of reformers, "they think it's on the legit." In other words, "the outsiders think we play by the rules." Keep that in mind--depressingly--as we get closer to Friday.

Madrid may be done in--if it survives the first rounds--by good old corrupt Chicago politics and Obama's mastery of that game, which is how he became "king of the world."

But let us hope that Olympic values--real Olympic values--prevail. On that basis, Madrid has a good chance despite the Rio mystique and tiers-mondiste political pull because it has the most "real" proposal (77% of venues built or under construction) and it has the historical experience and expertise, as Coghen said, as well as being a Latin, Mediterranean, non-English language world city, which Chicago cannot claim and it would be following London...

(By the way, concerning your ironic comment about Spain and Africa...remember, it took the French to say that in the 18th c.; and Chicago, with over 40% of its population being African-American, would fit that criterion more closely.) :rolleyes:

(Te lo escribiría todo en español, pero no quiero suscitar polémicas con lectores que no dominan nuestro idioma.)

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(By the way, concerning your ironic comment about Spain and Africa...remember, it took the French to say that in the 18th c.; and Chicago, with over 40% of its population being African-American, would fit that criterion more closely.) :rolleyes:

Senor, Yo Amo Madrid (te usas el "lisp" castellano?) :lol:

Good coherent post...but don't forget that your own Juan Antonio Samaranch Sr. outmaneuvered Paris in the 1992 vote bu abusing the privileges of his position. So please remember that before you spout all this stuff about Obama (not that I am a great Obama supporter).

Anyway, they say that IOC is looking for new frontiers, well, yes Chicago...is 40% Afro-American...so maybe that is where the "New Frontiers" that the IOC is looking for may end up. But it would be a replay of Atlanta since Atlanta in 1990-96 is/was I think 45%+ or higher African-American.

So if FIFA is going to Africa next year, well, then can the IOC be far behind...and find Africa again... in the northern hemisphere on the shores of Lake Michigan? ;)

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Hey, Oaky! Thanks for posting this interview :)

Why FC Barcelona has not appeared anywhere demonstrating its support to Madrid?

http://www.elmundodeportivo.es/gen/2009052...adrid-2016.html

FC Barcelona tried to wear Madrid's logo at Champions League Final in Rome, but wasn't allow by UEFA. I think that's the same for any match they play outside of Spain.

This weekend every Spanish Soccer Team, even FCB, show a banner with MADRID 2016 BID LOGO to show their support. This is a cap from Málaga - FC Barcelona in La Rosaleda, one of the proposed venues for soccer competitions :)

am6p7a.jpg

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Cinderella/Cenerentola/Cenicienta/Cendrillon--

I've been reading your posts, so I know you are a follower of the Madrid bid, and are therefore probably aware that one of the final events in support of Madrid 2016 was a public act involving Mayor Gallardon and the bid team, and Mayor Hereu of Barcelona. It's true that ERC did not give its support, and I think that it ended up looking petty and vindictive in the press; and also the sports commissioner of Cataluña (it being Cataluña, I am tempted to say "commissar") was less than expressive or enthusiastic, citing the general actions of the Generalitat "in approval" of the bid. But I think that Mayor Hereu's very public and publicized gesture speaks on behalf of most Catalonians who (despite voting their terrible regional politicians into office) are not rabid nationalists, ackowledge themselves as Spaniards and reject the minority separatist project...

As it turns out, Madrid does have the strongest popular support among all the bid cities, with approximately 92% of madrileños in favor of the games in their city; and, ironically, a higher figure of 93% among Spaniards in general. By contrast, in Chicago, where I am right now and spent the summer, the most recent poll showed only 47% of Chicagoans want the games; and a massive public act of support, such as the "corazoanada," would have been inconceivable here, where the only people who talk Olympics are the organizers, some politicians--who had to be dragged kicking to agree to financial guarantees just a couple of weeks ago--and the press, which has tried weakly to drum up interest and enthusiasm.

One thing that is little noted in the pro-Chicago comments for the bid and in the IOC bid reviews is that the venues in Chicago are in marginal neighborhoods, where there are serious issues of security and transportation. There is nothing--NOTHING--built. A "temporary" stadium is being proposed for the opening/closing ceremonies and track events, which raises the question--I'm an architect--how do you create a temporary stadium for 80,000 spectators and meet all codes, etc. ? This merely means that the facility will be done with a view to optimize design/construction costs because it MUST stand and be safe, so "temporary" simply means "cheap." But even if you come back and tear down or adapt a huge stadium for a smaller use, how does this comport with stated goals of sustainability and "green" design?

My fear now is that with Obama announcing his trip to Copenhagen, perhaps the fix is in--Obama does not do anything unless it's assured politically. He's left politicians in his own party dangling in the wind when the numbers were not good (to avoid risking his prestige in a losing cause). People think Obama is going to boost Chicago. Perhaps. A more cynical view is that he's going to deliver the broadcast rights for the games to NBC (owned by GE, whose CEO Jeoffrey Immelt, sits on several boards and bodies appointed by Obama, and which has turned the once-independent NBC into a mouthpiece for Obama policies, and stands to profit hugely from Obama "green" technology initiatives).

The old Chicago political machine works on the basis of quid pro quo. A colorful oldtime Chicago politicain used to say of reformers, "they think it's on the legit." In other words, "the outsiders think we play by the rules." Keep that in mind--depressingly--as we get closer to Friday.

Madrid may be done in--if it survives the first rounds--by good old corrupt Chicago politics and Obama's mastery of that game, which is how he became "king of the world."

But let us hope that Olympic values--real Olympic values--prevail. On that basis, Madrid has a good chance despite the Rio mystique and tiers-mondiste political pull because it has the most "real" proposal (77% of venues built or under construction) and it has the historical experience and expertise, as Coghen said, as well as being a Latin, Mediterranean, non-English language world city, which Chicago cannot claim and it would be following London...

(By the way, concerning your ironic comment about Spain and Africa...remember, it took the French to say that in the 18th c.; and Chicago, with over 40% of its population being African-American, would fit that criterion more closely.) :rolleyes:

(Te lo escribiría todo en español, pero no quiero suscitar polémicas con lectores que no dominan nuestro idioma.)

Good post and very well articulated.

I too share the views about Chicago's venues. When hardly and exist (the main ones for athletics, swimming etc) and the intention is to build temporary ones in historical parkland and tear them down - that is extremely non green.

I support Madrid because it has the best bid. People get annoyed when I say that as apparently it is too subjective, but what I mean is that almost 80% of venues are built or under construction - this is superior to any of the bids. Further, the venues have legacy in mind and are considered to be absorbed into the greater Madrid urban fabric. The main athletics stadium will become a football stadium afterwards for example.

I agree with Madrid's view regarding continental rotation aswell - in an era when humanity is interconnected through the media, internet etc we should emphasize cultural changes which transcend normal thoughts which emphasize geography. Madrid's culture is vastly different to London's - infact, Chicago's culture has more in common with London.

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http://www.elmundodeportivo.es/gen/2009052...adrid-2016.html

FC Barcelona tried to wear Madrid's logo at Champions League Final in Rome, but wasn't allow by UEFA. I think that's the same for any match they play outside of Spain.

This weekend every Spanish Soccer Team, even FCB, show a banner with MADRID 2016 BID LOGO to show their support. This is a cap from Málaga - FC Barcelona in La Rosaleda, one of the proposed venues for soccer competitions :)

am6p7a.jpg

Hey, nice! Thanks puxapiti for this :) I was missing it and I don't get why the UEFA just said no... After all Madrid is the only European city in this race.

Regarding to the I heart Madrid post: (gracias por tu intencion de escribir en castellano, algo por lo que siempre me han echado broncas aqui... en fin. Yo no soy espanola pero me defiendo mucho mejor en vuestra lengua que en ingles)

I've been reading your post carefully and I should say it is very well articulated. The Obama final gesture maybe links with what Gallardon said: "he would not risk to loose against Madrid if he travels to Copenhagen". Now that he has confirmed his presence in Denmark means much to me. It's just the confirmation that USOC has already most of the grants for winning on Friday and therefore Obama has no problem in being there. Nevertheless, I also can see that the pressure over him this last weeks could have been stronger than expected by the White House. King Juan Carlos, Lula, the Japanese prime minister and Aki-Hito will be there, and just sending Mrs. Obama could appear to be not enough. I read something few days ago (I can't remember where) that was suggesting that Mrs. Obama would have no idea how to lobby in Copenhagen by herself. As far as I'm concerned, the Obama family has had no long-term links with IOC nor the Olympic movement. The only presence of the King of the World should be enough.

And that's exactly what makes me think about the real need of organising a three-years long race for awarding a city host. Madrid has had no chance to host 2016 SOG since moment 0 and if they finally manage to win, it will be simply because they lobby correctly. We shouldn't really care about the best project, the most advanced, the cultural rotation... as far as London won a race where it was the third or even the fourth in bid quality levels. Either Chicago or Rio, frontrunners this time, are the third and the fourth and their bids are for sure good (very good actually) but quite farther to the IOC green, low-budgets requirements. Many people defend the idea that the legacy will turn Rio into a new city and I'm not sure about it: the budget will climb so quickly that all the legacy will cost very much for a country plenty of other needs. On the other side, if Chicago uses the games to innovate its outdated public transport system that would be cool and it will convert the city in one of the most beautiful North America metropolis. But I couldn't agree more with you regarding to the "cheap" concept of the Chicago temporary venues. It could be good, it could be convenient... but definitely this can not be green in any case! Is this OK for the IOC? If yes... ok, let's go. We'll see wonderful games either in Chicago or Rio.

But please stop transmitting the idea of the Olympics like an unpolitical event, because it is one of the most :)

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Hey, nice! Thanks puxapiti for this :) I was missing it and I don't get why the UEFA just said no... After all Madrid is the only European city in this race.

Regarding to the I heart Madrid post: (gracias por tu intencion de escribir en castellano, algo por lo que siempre me han echado broncas aqui... en fin. Yo no soy espanola pero me defiendo mucho mejor en vuestra lengua que en ingles)

I've been reading your post carefully and I should say it is very well articulated. The Obama final gesture maybe links with what Gallardon said: "he would not risk to loose against Madrid if he travels to Copenhagen". Now that he has confirmed his presence in Denmark means much to me. It's just the confirmation that USOC has already most of the grants for winning on Friday and therefore Obama has no problem in being there. Nevertheless, I also can see that the pressure over him this last weeks could have been stronger than expected by the White House. King Juan Carlos, Lula, the Japanese prime minister and Aki-Hito will be there, and just sending Mrs. Obama could appear to be not enough. I read something few days ago (I can't remember where) that was suggesting that Mrs. Obama would have no idea how to lobby in Copenhagen by herself. As far as I'm concerned, the Obama family has had no long-term links with IOC nor the Olympic movement. The only presence of the King of the World should be enough.

And that's exactly what makes me think about the real need of organising a three-years long race for awarding a city host. Madrid has had no chance to host 2016 SOG since moment 0 and if they finally manage to win, it will be simply because they lobby correctly. We shouldn't really care about the best project, the most advanced, the cultural rotation... as far as London won a race where it was the third or even the fourth in bid quality levels. Either Chicago or Rio, frontrunners this time, are the third and the fourth and their bids are for sure good (very good actually) but quite farther to the IOC green, low-budgets requirements. Many people defend the idea that the legacy will turn Rio into a new city and I'm not sure about it: the budget will climb so quickly that all the legacy will cost very much for a country plenty of other needs. On the other side, if Chicago uses the games to innovate its outdated public transport system that would be cool and it will convert the city in one of the most beautiful North America metropolis. But I couldn't agree more with you regarding to the "cheap" concept of the Chicago temporary venues. It could be good, it could be convenient... but definitely this can not be green in any case! Is this OK for the IOC? If yes... ok, let's go. We'll see wonderful games either in Chicago or Rio.

But please stop transmitting the idea of the Olympics like an unpolitical event, because it is one of the most :)

Thank you for the compliment and for your comments...let me calrify that I do not mean to imply that the IOC is not political. On the contrary--the premise of my comments about the Obama trip is that the IOC members can be "had." That is, they play politics, as when they awarded games to countries whose political culture is anti-democratic because of a geopolitical calculus, as when they openly speculate that it's time for this continent or that continent, etc. And they are impressed by celebrity.

I like your phrase, though, concerning this matter: "cultural rotation" rather than "continental rotation" should prevail. If Chicago wins, it is another English-language, "Anglosphere" city following London, albeit with a very large black population. It is also a city of ethnic communities (for example, the largest Polish population outside of Poland; one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece; many Italians and Germans and Irish and Central Europeans and Russians; 500,000 Mexicans, 200,000 Puerto Ricans, sizable Asian communities and representative communities from virtually every other ethnic group and nationality); its urban core is sophisticated and cosmopolitan. It has wonderful museums and orchestras and other cultural institutions. But it would be an English-language city (even though most public announcements and signs are also in Spanish, as is true all over the US) following an English-language city.

Now, following the cultural rotation rule, and discarding a city that has already hosted the games (Tokyo), that leaves Madrid and Rio as the cultural options. And on the basis of proposals, Madrid wins for me--independent of my preference or prejudice--because it has the know-how, the experience, the expertise, the infrastructure and the readiness, as well the financial viability. It also has the best logo, and unquestionably, the best popular support. :)

(As I write this, a political analyst is commenting on how a Chicago Games is going to be a free-for-all for the political class--and those plugged in to the Mayor Daly and Obama political machines--that will make the Salt Lake City scandals look like child's play. Chicago is a great city for culture, but it is also a very, very corrupt place. Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who will be in Copenhagen, is a major player in slum real estate on the South Side, along with former Obama power-broker and financier, convicted felon Tony Rezko, where Obama has a $2-million residence, and where all the venues will be built. Unfortunately, none of these background issues will surface in time for the IOC. Make no mistake: all cities have their power players, and no candidate city can afford to be without them and they will benefit from an award of the Games, but in the case of Chicago, Obama has a lot of IOU's. The Games will be big-time payback...)

Nota penúltima: Te felicito por haber iniciado el tópico de Madrid en español...el mundo no habla una sola lengua internacional.

Nota final: Mi mote ("I heart Madrith") es una broma, por la pronunciación exagerada de la "d" de los madrileños...lo hice por pinchar un poco a los que hacen alarde del ceceo--aún cuando no hay una "c"--. (risas)

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Thank you for the compliment and for your comments...let me calrify that I do not mean to imply that the IOC is not political. On the contrary--the premise of my comments about the Obama trip is that the IOC members can be "had." That is, they play politics, as when they awarded games to countries whose political culture is anti-democratic because of a geopolitical calculus, as when they openly speculate that it's time for this continent or that continent, etc. And they are impressed by celebrity.

I like your phrase, though, concerning this matter: "cultural rotation" rather than "continental rotation" should prevail. If Chicago wins, it is another English-language, "Anglosphere" city following London, albeit with a very large black population. It is also a city of ethnic communities (for example, the largest Polish population outside of Poland; one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece; many Italians and Germans and Irish and Central Europeans and Russians; 500,000 Mexicans, 200,000 Puerto Ricans, sizable Asian communities and representative communities from virtually every other ethnic group and nationality); its urban core is sophisticated and cosmopolitan. It has wonderful museums and orchestras and other cultural institutions. But it would be an English-language city (even though most public announcements and signs are also in Spanish, as is true all over the US) following an English-language city.

Now, following the cultural rotation rule, and discarding a city that has already hosted the games (Tokyo), that leaves Madrid and Rio as the cultural options. And on the basis of proposals, Madrid wins for me--independent of my preference or prejudice--because it has the know-how, the experience, the expertise, the infrastructure and the readiness, as well the financial viability. It also has the best logo, and unquestionably, the best popular support. :)

(As I write this, a political analyst is commenting on how a Chicago Games is going to be a free-for-all for the political class--and those plugged in to the Mayor Daly and Obama political machines--that will make the Salt Lake City scandals look like child's play. Chicago is a great city for culture, but it is also a very, very corrupt place. Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who will be in Copenhagen, is a major player in slum real estate on the South Side, along with former Obama power-broker and financier, convicted felon Tony Rezko, where Obama has a $2-million residence, and where all the venues will be built. Unfortunately, none of these background issues will surface in time for the IOC. Make no mistake: all cities have their power players, and no candidate city can afford to be without them and they will benefit from an award of the Games, but in the case of Chicago, Obama has a lot of IOU's. The Games will be big-time payback...)

Nota penúltima: Te felicito por haber iniciado el tópico de Madrid en español...el mundo no habla una sola lengua internacional.

Nota final: Mi mote ("I heart Madrith") es una broma, por la pronunciación exagerada de la "d" de los madrileños...lo hice por pinchar un poco a los que hacen alarde del ceceo--aún cuando no hay una "c"--. (risas)

Actually I wasn't refering to you AT ALL when I asked to stop transmitting the idea of an unpolitical event. You made the point and did it again with your last post :)d

I'm not sure if I have said it in this forum, but I really do like Chicago very much. One of my favourite USA cities with an special charm which I'm sure it will be a great host, either in 2016 or whenever. The mix of its society is real and that's exactly the translation that IOC wants to be reflected when not risking with a new frontier host. Anyway, I still think that their bid is not on the same level as Madrid and Tokyo are, and frankly it has become the last item to be considered during this race. In 2005, when Madrid was competing against three "world-class" cities (as MANY posters here repeated again and again...), it was systematically underestimated because it seemed quite arrogant from the Madrilenos to defend its city having such three big competitors. Useless to remember that Moscow suffered even a stronger disregard. Ok... it was pretty a strong argument to defend and most of us just kept in silence and agreed that there was almost nothing to do against the three jewels of the world.

Nowadays, Madrid has had not a single chance since it announced its intention to bid, doesn't matter if the bid was good or not. It was just not the time for Europe, and therefore even some people suggested that Madrid should withdraw. Ok again...

But I can't help in having a question rising: why not, then, delimit the race to just one continent every 4 years? In Spain you would say: "... y asi acabamos con esta farsa". You know what I mean? I know it's stupid to even suggest this kind of bidding because the IOC is an organisation with economic purposes indeed and that's why they are very glad the higher the number of applicants is. But please, at least we should ask them to include in their reports that continental rotation, political issues and lobbying are required to rank high, and ask them to stop pretending they're just focusing on diversity, legacy, and spreading the Olympic message worldwide. It has become almost offending for some very good bids of the recent years.

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Actually I wasn't refering to you AT ALL when I asked to stop transmitting the idea of an unpolitical event. You made the point and did it again with your last post :)d

I'm not sure if I have said it in this forum, but I really do like Chicago very much. One of my favourite USA cities with an special charm which I'm sure it will be a great host, either in 2016 or whenever. The mix of its society is real and that's exactly the translation that IOC wants to be reflected when not risking with a new frontier host. Anyway, I still think that their bid is not on the same level as Madrid and Tokyo are, and frankly it has become the last item to be considered during this race. In 2005, when Madrid was competing against three "world-class" cities (as MANY posters here repeated again and again...), it was systematically underestimated because it seemed quite arrogant from the Madrilenos to defend its city having such three big competitors. Useless to remember that Moscow suffered even a stronger disregard. Ok... it was pretty a strong argument to defend and most of us just kept in silence and agreed that there was almost nothing to do against the three jewels of the world.

Nowadays, Madrid has had not a single chance since it announced its intention to bid, doesn't matter if the bid was good or not. It was just not the time for Europe, and therefore even some people suggested that Madrid should withdraw. Ok again...

But I can't help in having a question rising: why not, then, delimit the race to just one continent every 4 years? In Spain you would say: "... y asi acabamos con esta farsa". You know what I mean? I know it's stupid to even suggest this kind of bidding because the IOC is an organisation with economic purposes indeed and that's why they are very glad the higher the number of applicants is. But please, at least we should ask them to include in their reports that continental rotation, political issues and lobbying are required to rank high, and ask them to stop pretending they're just focusing on diversity, legacy, and spreading the Olympic message worldwide. It has become almost offending for some very good bids of the recent years.

Another good idea! You're on a roll...first, "cultural rotation," and now, pre-set continent designation. I like it for this reason: The IOC would still get multiple cities in the designated continent to compete, but the kabuki dance around the subject of geography would fall away (and there's still room for cultural diversity within a continent). Admittedly, it might be more difficult for enough qualified cities in Africa or South America--especially Africa--to put together viable bids, but this business of the continental rotation being on or off is a disservice to the efforts of the bid treams. Now Gallardon and his other advisers--he says he even consulted with Samaranch, padre--took the issue to Rogge and Rogge said it would be OK for Madrid to bid again. At that level, I'm sure discussion is very frank and blunt, so I don't think Madrid would mount this campaign if it truly thought the cause was lost from the start--unless, cynically, it was used as a catalyst for political gain and development projects that would otherwise not be built..."todo es posible en la viña del Señor."

But official continent rotation would eliminate one of the most invidious variables in the decision and focus attention on the quality of the proposals from an infrastructure, facility and financial perspective. (Of course, it would be a long time--20 years--before the Olympic circus would pull in for a show on each continent, and that is the weak point, in addition to which the IOC paladins would never give up their specialness as the unknown to be conquered.)

But it is very disheartening to read about IOC members saying--after all the cost, all the hours, all the effort and all the marshaling of public emotion--that the decision will be made in the last 48 hours or even the last minute based on their own emotion, fascination with celebrity, signs of team chemistry, etc. Many will not have read the reports and many who have will not assign a high priority to the technical strength of a bid. In other words, just go with a feeling--or a bias or a pet idea. It has to be crushing to the teams that don't make the cut but have a strong bid in every respect other than that intangibles like the desire for a "new frontier" or a fascination with (seduction by?) a world figure ruled the day...

I'll stop there, since the Baron doesn't like lengthy posts...LOL

(But one last thing on Madrid as a world city: obviously it is, but for the MB provocateurs, I have three words: the Prado, the Prado and the Prado. Also, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Reina Sofía, the Sorolla and many other museums, and a day's drive to World Heritage Sites like Avila, Toledo, the Escorial, Alcalá de Henares and Segovia...and though it is a younger city than many other European capitals, and lacks the classical antiquities of a unique city like Rome, it is a city of many grand and beautiful urban vistas... :) )

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