The IOC has set the dates for the 2016 Evaluation Commission visits to the four candidate cities next spring.
Nawal El Moutawakel in New York City in 2005 when she led the 2012 Evaluation Commission. (ATR)
Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC member from Morocco, will lead the commission on inspection tours of Chicago, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Madrid.
The commission's visits take place in that order, according to the protocol order established by the IOC with the drawing of lots last year: Chicago, April 2-8; Tokyo, April 14-20; Rio de Janeiro, April 27 to May 3; Madrid, May 4-9.
It means the IOC has allocated a full week for each city; only four days were scheduled for inspections of each 2012 bid city.
The Chicago visit take places soon after Sport Accord in Denver where the 2016 Olympics cities will all be lobbying hard to win the support of IOC members. The commission's visit to Tokyo may coincide with the cherry blossom season, adding to the city's appeal and enhancing the bid's green credentials.
The commission's visits are the only ones permitted by IOC members to inspect the bid cities.
El Moutawakel and her team will compile a technical report based on the visits and the candidature files submitted in February. This document will be released September 2, exactly one month before IOC members place their votes at the Session in Copenhagen.
El-Moutawakel, the Minister for Sport in Morocco, also led the Evaluation Commission for the 2012 Olympics.
The evaluation group includes a number of IOC members: C.K. Wu of Chinese Taipei and president of AIBA, the international boxing federation; Craig Reedie of Great Britain; Guy Drut of France; Mounir Sabet from Egypt; Alexander Popov of Russia, a member of the IOC Athletes Commission and Els Van Breeda from the Netherlands, president of FIH, the international federation for field hockey.
Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Olympic Games executive director, will play an important role, using his experience of other evaluation bodies to cast an expert eye over the key functional areas of Olympic plans in each city. In the coming months, a representative of the world’s national Olympic committees will also be named to the panel, along with technical advisers on key issues such as transport and the environment. With reporting from Mark Bisson. For general comments or questions, click here.Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.