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  • Istanbul Banner Flies Above Bosphorus; Japan Economy Shrinks; Rome 2024?


    11/12/12

    Rome Must Be Ready for 2024, Says Mayor

    Mayor Gianni Alemanno says Rome should forget the past and return to the business of bidding.
    Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno alongside 2020 bid chief Mario Pescante. (ATR)

    “We have to be ready in 2017 to again present a bid for the Olympics,” he was quoted Sunday in an Associated Press report.
    Hosting rights to the 2020 Summer Games will be awarded at the IOC Session in 2017.

    Rome, long a leading contender for 2020, dropped out of the race in February when Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti refused to endorse the bid as part of austerity measures being carried out to tame the country’s economic malaise.

    Alemanno was the top politician pushing for Rome 2020.

    Istanbul 2020 Banner Flies Above Bosphorus

    Istanbul 2020 says Sunday’s Eurasia Marathon is the latest proof of Turkey’s passion for sport.
    The bid banner waves above the Bosphorus. (Istanbul 2020)

    More than 13,000 runners race the full intercontinental route with another 100,000-plus participating in a Fun Run from Asia to Europe.

    Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and Mayor Kadir Topba┼č passed out Istanbul 2020 shirts to hundreds of youngsters as the bid banner flew above the Bosphorus Bridge in place of the Turkish flag, a rare occasion for the spot.

    “Sports events in Turkey are always well supported, and that is one of the reasons domestic polls have shown that 87 percent of people in Istanbul and 83 percent nationally want to host the Games here,” said bid leader Hasan Arat.

    “Istanbul 2020 is about to kick off a series of domestic programs to keep building awareness and enthusiasm for our Olympic bid in Turkey, so I believe those figures will only increase.”

    Arat also stressed the intercontinental features of the Istanbul bid.

    “Imagine: athletes could sleep in Europe and compete in Asia,” he said Monday.

    “That offers the Olympic Movement a brand new, very exciting opportunity.”

    Madrid and Tokyo are the other two candidates in contention for the 2020 Olympics.

    Japan Economy Shrinks; Tokyo Election

    The Japanese economy appears to be headed into recession with new figures showing GDP is expected to drop 3.5 percent this year.

    Slowing demand for exports is part of the blame, while the country’s dispute with China over the sovereignty of a group of islands is cited as another factor.

    The economic slowdown is leading to speculation that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may call for early elections.
    Shintaro Ishihara on the bid trail for Tokyo 2016. (ATR)

    Certain is the election December 16 for a new Tokyo Metropolitan Governor, following last month’s resignation of Shintaro Ishihara. He had been the leading politician pushing for a Tokyo Olympic bid. Ishihara is forming a new political party to run for seats in the national parliament.

    The campaign for the Tokyo governor begins Nov. 29 and has drawn two candidates so far, more expected. The bid for the 2020 Olympics has yet to figure into the run-up to the election. Bid leaders say that the 2020 bid enjoys cross-party support and that public support is growing.

    Written by Matthew Grayson and Ed Hula

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