Sheik Al-Sabah says the presentations of the 2016 bid cities are important for the OCA. (ATR)
(ATR) The first Asian Beach Games – and the annual Olympic Council of Asia general assembly – have drawn the four candidate cities for the 2016 Olympics to Bali. The president of the OCA tells Around the Rings that presentations from the cities will be the highlight of Tuesday’s meeting.
“They (the candidate city presentations) are very important. Firstly, Asia has major voting in the IOC,” Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah says.
“We are almost a quarter of the number of NOCs who will participate in this event (2016 Games) so we will be happy to receive the information from all these presentations,” he says.
“I think it will be a very smooth general assembly,” says Al-Sabah about the one-day meeting, taking place in the midst of the first Asian Beach Games on the Indonesian island.
“What we are expecting is for the general assembly to approve all our sporting programs. As you know, we have a huge calendar of events in Asia and the executive board has received reports from all the organizing committees, which now have to be approved by the general assembly.”
The OCA runs 11 recurring multi-sport events - the flagship Asian Games, five regional Asian games as well as games with beach, indoor, winter, youth and martial arts themes.
“We are also honored to be giving the OCA Merit Award to the chairman of the Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee Abu Bakrie and president of the Indonesian NOC, Madam Rita (Subowo) who made our dream come true, through hosting the first Asian Beach Games,” he says. Subowo is also an IOC member. 2016 Bid Cities Poised For Presentation Day
Brazilian beach volleyball star Adriana Behar has been drafted into the presentation lineup for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games bid scheduled for the OCA Congress.
The seven-time World Circuit Champion and two-time World Champion, now-retired, competed in Bali several times. She says she is impressed with the beach volleyball venue at the Asian Beach Games and noted the venues were
Bid leaders from the Americas: Carlos Nuzman from Rio de Janeiro and Patrick Ryan of Chicago. (ATR)
continuing to improve on the island.
Behar tells Around The Rings her message to Asian NOCs is that Brazil has shown- through its hosting of the Pan American Games – that it is able to successfully stage a major event and deserves the chance to bring the Olympic Games to South America for the first time.
“It will be the first time the Olympics will be held in South America and this would be only fair,” she says.
“This is one of the key things about the Olympics, the idea of fair play.”
The chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, Pat Ryan, says the presentation of his team to OCA would try to provide more detail on the multicultural composition of
IOC President Jacques Rogge and his wife Anne visited Bali for the Asian Beach Games. (ATR)
Salim Bassoul, a Lebanese immigrant who moved to Chicago to further his education and ultimately built a successful business empire, will be part of the presentation lineup.
“He reflects the multicultural aspect and appeal of Chicago, one of the things we feel is great about the city,” Ryan says.
Asked what has changed from the last Chicago 2016 presentation, he says: “We probably include more about the people of Chicago”.
Ryan says Bassoul has a thorough understanding of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well as a great sense of what is appealing about the Chicago.
A high-level Tokyo 2016 delegation is also in Bali and includes Tokyo 2016 chairman and CEO, Ichiro Kono, Japanese Olympic Committee president, Tsunekazu Takeda, IOC members Shunichiro Okano and Chiharu Igaya (also an IOC vice president).
Executive director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bid Division, Nagatoshi Nakamura, is also part of the team for the OCA gathering.
“The OCA General Assembly is not only a great opportunity for us to share our vision of a Games that unites our worlds. It is also a chance to thank the National Olympic Committees of Asia for their support and say how honored Japan is to be part of the OCA,” Kono says.
“In fact, it is most fitting that this year's event takes place in Indonesia, with whom Japan is celebrating half a century of friendship this year.”
Written by Anthony Stavrinos
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