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  • 2020 Olympic Bids Huddle With IOC


    The briefings take place at Château de Vidy, the IOC's headquarters. (ATR)
    (ATR) For the next two days, delegations from Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo will meet with an array of IOC technical experts in sessions at IOC headquarters.

    The experts will review the nearly two dozen categories in the questionnaire the cities must complete by February to be considered for the next round of the 2020 race.

    The IOC will use the questionnaire to decide on a short list of cities on May 23. The IOC vote for 2020 is scheduled for Sep.7 2013 in Buenos Aires.

    The delegations, eight from each city, include the bid CEO or equivalent and a group of technical experts who will prepare the questionnaire for each city. None of the IOC members from any of the countries bidding attended the briefing.

    “We are listening, we are learning from a lot of experience. I think this will be a good week for us,” Hasan Arat tells Around the Rings. He’s leading the delegation from Istanbul as vice president of the NOC, expected to be named chairman of the Turkish bid.
    Tokyo 2020 arrived first for the meetings. (ATR)

    “This is the kickoff meeting, so we are expecting to do a lot of learning here,” Tokyo bid chair Masato Mizuno told ATR.

    The Rome team includes representatives from the bid, CONI and city, led by CEO Ernesto Albanese. The meeting also marks the first international foray of adviser Robert Fasulo, the U.S. veteran of federation and NOC work.

    Joining the Doha team in Lausanne is consultant Hugh Taylor of Sydney-based MI Associates, a well-known group of technical experts who emerged from the 2000 Olympics.

    The Doha team is the only one with a female chief, Sheikha Mayassa Al Thani. Doha, because it will seek to host the Games in October to beat the heat, is also the only one of the six contenders that must win the assent of the 28 Olympic sports federations to hold their events in October, outside the normal calendar.
    Doha 2020. (ATR)
    “We started about one year ago consulting with all IFs and to study and learn from them whether October would good for them, how can we work together,” Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani tells ATR. He is secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee.

    “All of the federations we have consulted they have agreed on the period. Some of them are requesting coordination in advance,” says Sheikh Saoud.

    U.K.-based consultant Mike Lee is on hand to assist Doha's communication work.

    The team from Madrid includes veterans of the past bids from the Spanish capital, such as sports expert Raul Chapado. NOC President Alejandro Blanco leads the delegation.

    From Baku, Azerbaijan NOC vice chair Chingiz Huseynzada is the leader of the delegation that also includes U.K.-based legacy expert Peter Mann.

    The six cities will participate together in a series of briefings Thursday from the IOC’s pool of experts. Friday, the final day, each city will be able to meet individually with the IOC experts for confidential consultations.

    Madrid delegates collect their accreditation. (ATR)
    Some advice for the cities comes from Carlos Nuzman, leader of the bid from Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. Expect a lot of sacrifice he says.

    “Be humble. You need to work hard. You need to have respect, have everybody together, officials, NOCs, national federations, authorities. You need to work seven days a week, two years of travel. You need to show your passion, your energy, your enthusiasm,” he says.

    And he advises the cities to stay away from those who promise to bring the votes of IOC members.

    “Forget about lobbyists. They are expensive, they have no votes but they receive business class and five stars hotels,” Nuzman tells ATR.

    Written and reported in Lausanne by Ed Hula.

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