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  • Austria "Happy to Bid" for Summer Olympics; Tokyo Bid Enjoys More Suport


    Austria “Happy to Bid” for Summer Olympics

    The secretary general of the Austrian Olympic Committee tells Around the Rings “Austria is a good host” for a Summer Olympics.
    The view overlooking Vienna from the bell tower of St. Stephen's Cathedral. (Getty Images)

    The country’s Olympic pedigree, says Peter Mennel, was created staging two Winter Olympics and a Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

    Earlier this week, Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl said the city would bid for either the 2024 or 2028 Olympics, a decision which caught the OOC completely by surprise, but they would be “happy to bid.”

    Mennel said that they were now waiting for Häupl to approach the OOC about specifics for a bid. “It’s their turn to show up at the NOC,” he told ATR

    A referendum on a bid is scheduled for March.

    While Mennel touted the experience and capabilities of Austria, he noted Vienna needs “a lot of things” for an Olympics, including an Olympic Stadium, Village and Park.

    “The infrastructure in Vienna at the moment is not very good. That would be the most important thing to improve everything and have a legacy of training venues and competition venues,” he said.

    However, with a population of 1.8 million and a long history as a tourist destination, Mennel says the rest of the infrastructure needed, including airport, hotels and transportation, is already in place and functions well.

    He added “there is no preference” from the OOC for either a 2024 or 2028 Olympic bid, and that there were no discussions about bidding before the announcement.

    Support Grows, Opposition Steady

    A survey from the daily Yomuiri Shimbun finds 68 percent of eligible Tokyo voters support the  the city's 2020 Olympics bid while 31 percent oppose
    the bid.

    The poll was conducted Dec. 6-8.

    Sixty-seven percent of Tokyo voters support the bid, with 38 percent "supporting" the bid and 29 percent "somewhat supportive".

    Tokyo 2020 said in a statement to Around the Rings the survey reflects previous opinion polls.

    Yomiuri Shimbun’s independent survey figures confirm Tokyo 2020’s latest figures (October 2012), in that it has more than 8.5 million supporters in the capital,” the statement said. "67 percent of Tokyo residents are now supporting the bid’s effort to host the world’s greatest sport celebration in the world’s most forward-thinking, safe and well-organized city. A variety of opinion polls have consistently indicated that more than 80 million people in Japan back the bid.”

    Public opinion polling of the three bid cities, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo, have found the Japanese capital to have the lowest levels of public support.

    Phelps’ Former Coach Likes Istanbul

    On the sidelines of FINA's ongoing short-course swimming world championships, Bob Bowman, coach of legendary Olympian Michael Phelps, says Istanbul is ready to stage the 2020 Olympics.
    Ryan Lochte won 200m freestyle gold Wednesday in Istanbul. (Getty Images)

    “I am convinced that this iconic city would make an outstanding host of the Olympic Games,” he said, speaking about his time in Istanbul.

    Bid leader Hasan Arat added that the bid is learning from the city’s hosting of the event.

    “Our major events so far this year have been hugely successful,” he said. “Turkey is building up a strong pool of event-hosting capacity, and Istanbul 2020 is tapping into it. Time and again, we are proving ourselves trusted, effective hosts of world sport’s top properties.”

    Written by Ed Hula III.

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