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  • Bidding for the Games -- 2016 Cities Meet IOC, Rogge Explains Doha Tumble from Short List


    2016 Final Four Meet IOC

    Cities bidding for the 2016 Olympics will need to pay more attention to sports legacy they plan for the Games.
    Rio de Janeiro marketing chief Leonardo Gryner and director Carlos Osorio. (ATR)  

    Two days after being selected as finalists in the race for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo met with IOC officials to receive instructions and ask questions about the next phase of the campaign.

    Rio 2016’s Carlos Osorio tells Around the Rings the cities will be expected to provide more detailed explanations of their plans for a sports legacy from the Games.

    "Legacy, vision for the Games, and in legacy, an obligation to present legacy for sport. Not only legacy for the city, but legacy for sport," he says.
    Mercedes Coghen, CEO of Madrid 16 says the briefing in Athens by the IOC for the 2016 cities held Friday will help all bids with their planning. (ATR)  

    Osorio says this will require the 2016 cities to more thoroughly prepare their bids in the area of legacy. He says the IOC will be looking for clear and verifiable plans for venues post-Games.

    "This is something interesting for sport, interesting for the international federations," says Madrid 16 CEO Mercedes Coghen about the level of detail that will be needed from the bid committees.

    Along with more detail on sport legacy, the cities will face new requirements for the portion of their bid books that deal with environment.

    Dates Set for IOC Members Bid Summit

    The bid cities will meet with IOC members in Lausanne June 17 and 18 next year, the first-ever briefing of its kind for the members. The meeting will be open to all IOC members and closed to the media. So far, press conferences are not part of the agenda.
    Tokyo 2016 chairman Ichiro Kono says he expects the meeting next June between IOC members and the bid cities will be "very successful". (ATR)  

    The meeting is the result of requests by bid cities to have further contact with IOC members. Since 1999, the IOC has banned IOC member visits to bid cities and has sharply curtailed other opportunities for the bids to meet with voting IOC members.

    Leaders of the 2016 bids say the meeting won’t be a dry-run for their final presentations to IOC Session in Copenhagen, but a chance to brief the members in greater detail and to answer questions about the technical parts of the bid.

    "I think it’s a good idea," says U.S. Olympic Committee vice president Bob Ctvrtlik, who was part of the delegation from Chicago at the Friday morning meeting in Athens.

    "The description they gave today makes me much more positive to the idea than I had been before. There was some confusion over whether this would be a trial final presentation. It’s a much more cut-and-dried, practical time to present some things you ordinarily don’t have much time to explain to IOC members.

    Plans for the meeting were announced earlier this year and complete details of the meeting at IOC headquarters still have not been revealed. Attendance by members, whose travel costs will be covered by the IOC, is optional.

    Dates for IOC Evaluation Commission Visits

    Now that the finalists have been named for the 2016 race, it won’t be long before the chair and the dozen or so members of a 2016 evaluation commission is named.

    In advance of lining up the panel, the IOC has set the general calendar for the visits of the commission from March through May 2009.

    Around the Rings understands that exact dates for the visits will be set once logistics are considered. The visits will not necessarily conform to the protocol order determined for presentations and seating at IOC functions.

    That order is Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.

    The schedule for the evaluation commission visits means that they will end prior to next year’s June briefing for the IOC members.

    The report prepared by the evaluation commission will be due on Sept. 2, 2009, exactly one month before the IOC vote at the Copenhagen session.

    Heads of State OK for IOC Session in Copenhagen

    IOC President Jacques Rogge says heads of state from the 2016 bid cities will be permitted to attend the IOC Session in Copenhagen in 2009.
    IOC President Jacques Rogge says Doha did not provide a strong enough case to win an exception for its proposal to hold the 2016 Olympics in October. (Getty Images)  

    "We have debated about that, but we have a feeling that we cannot stop a head of state to come to defend the bid of his or her country,'' Rogge said at his press conference Friday in Athens at the conclusion of two days of meetings of the IOC Executive Board.

    "If they are willing to come, this is fine with us. But we will make sure this is handled in a proper way, by which I mean that we will ask them if they want to meet with the IOC members that this is going to be in an organized way."

    Rogge: No Assurances for Doha 2016 on Games Timing

    IOC President Jacques Rogge says no assurances were given over the dates proposed by Doha for the 2016 Olympics. Officials with Doha left Athens this week in a bitter mood, believing the IOC had misled them about whether their plan to hold the Games in October would be accepted.

    In his press conference, Rogge says it has been clear from the outset that the IOC required bids to fit the Games within a July 15 to August 31 time frame.

    "If they wanted to go outside these dates, they could ask for an exception, but they had to motivate it," said Rogge.

    "And Doha asked for an exception and we considered that the exception was not to be granted, because of international calendar and sporting calendar issues. It’s as simple as that.

    "We have never given assurances to Doha whatsoever that their requests would be honored," said Rogge.

    "I understand their disappointment, but the decision has been fair. And definitely the decision has been taken in the best interests of the athletes. And that was out first consideration. Our consideration was not necessarily to please a country or not to please a country. Our consideration is what was in the best interests of the athletes of the world."

    Written by Ed Hula in Athens.

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