2020 olympics could be third time lucky for Spain

AFTER losing out in 2008 and 2012 Madrid hopes to host the 2020 Olympics.

Istanbul and Tokyo are also competing for the next-but-one edition of the Games.

“We want to write another page in Olympic history,” Prince Felipe told the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose inspectors recently spent four days in the capital.

He was speaking at a gala dinner held for the 17 members of the evaluation commission at the Palacio Real in Madrid.

Also present were Queen Sofia, Prince Felipe’s wife, Letizia, the Infanta Elena and the King’s sister, the Infanta Pilar.

Since the Barcelona92 Games, Spain was more committed than ever to the Olympic concept, the Prince told the IOC inspectors.

Spain is safe, accessible and strategically-situated, the Prince reminded them. Mariano Rajoy, president of the national government, had already met the IOC inspectors some days earlier.

“Madrid has a great advantage as 80 per cent of the sports facilities needed to hold Olympic Games are already built,” he assured them.

Madrid is accustomed to hosting major events and as one of the world’s favourite tourist destinations Spain receives 58 million visitors each year, he said.

The proposed budget of €1.5 billion would be split between the three Administrations, said mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella. She added that it was “a perfectly affordable amount.”  A further €150 million would be needed for security.

The IOC will announce its choice of host city in Buenos Aires on September 7.

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