İstanbul ready to host 2020 Olympics, submits IOC bid
İstanbul will be competing against four other cities: Tokyo, Doha, Madrid and Baku. The İstanbul delegation delivered its documents to the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday, the deadline for formal bid submissions. Rome dropped out on Tuesday when Premier Mario Monti said the government would not offer financial support for the bid at a time of economic crisis in Italy. İstanbul is bidding for a fifth time after failed attempts to host the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Turkey's National Olympics Committee (TMOK) Deputy Chairman Hasan Arat, senior bid official, told the Anatolia news agency that the committee has been working hard on the bid since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans for İstanbul's candidacy to host the games on Aug. 13, 2011. "We worked with İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, officials from the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, İstanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu and Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç. These works have been approved by the prime minister as well," he said, adding the delegation presented letters from many of the senior political figures involved in the project to the International Olympic Committee.
The TMOK Olympic bid file consists of a major plan, according to Arat, who said it elaborates on the technical aspects of Turkey's plans to host the games. On May 25, a meeting will be held in Canada to select which cities will pass through to the candidate stage. The final vote to determine the winning bid will take place in Buenos Aires in September 2013.
Arat said İstanbul's bid received a positive reaction from the international committee. The İstanbul delegation delivered a presentation on existing and proposed facilities for the games. The file also included proposals for the Olympic village and media village, as well as plans for the transportation and communication infrastructure needed to support the event.
Now that the Italian government has pulled the plug, the five remaining candidate cities must prove that they have the financial and political muscle to win the high-stakes race for the 2020 Games.