There will be a celebration somewhere in the world this week after the International Olympic Committee makes its choice of which city is to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
Either Istanbul (Turkey), Tokyo (Japan) and Madrid (Spain) will be partying before getting to work on preparations to host the XXXII Games. Which city gets that honor will be decided by the IOC at its annual general meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which starts today and runs to Tuesday.
Madrid was beaten in the final voting by Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to host the 2016 Games. Chicago and Tokyo had also been in the running. The winning 2020 city will be announced on September 7, at 5pm local time.
This week the 125th IOC Session will also make decisions on the possible inclusion of a new sport in the Olympic programme; and will also elect the ninth IOC President.
Before this week’s meeting the IOC Coordination Commission paid its fifth visit to Rio to inspect progress in its legacy planning, venues, test event preparation, accommodation, sustainability, spectator experience, and marketing.
The FIFA Confederations Cup and the World Youth Day both allowed Rio 2016 to check planning assumptions, but a large amount of work remains to be completed and timelines still remain tight.
Equestrian events will held at the city’s National Equestrian Center, 17km from where the Olympic village will be located. The center can accommodate 14,000 people, and is currently used as an Olympic training centre. Rio de Janiero has budgeted $US10.7 million for further permanent construction at the site, and an additional $US9.6 million for temporary construction to get the venue ready for the Games.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, IOC Coordination Commission Chair Nawal El Moutawakel said: “Twenty-nine weeks after our last Commission visit to Rio de Janeiro, we’ve been able to see progress in a number of areas and a good understanding from the organisers and their government partners about the areas that they need to prioritise.
“We have been impressed by the commitment of the Rio 2016 team to ensure that legacy is at the heart of everything they do and whether it is developing transport infrastructure, building an education programme, or leaving a sporting heritage to the city, Rio 2016 is making sure that nothing is left to chance.”
In areas as varied as transportation, education, medical, procurement, spectrum management, accessibility, and venue construction, the partnership between the IOC, Rio 2016 and the local authorities is paying benefits not just for the period of the Games but beyond and for generations to come.
During the two days of meetings, the Commission also received updates on preparations in areas such as athletes and National Olympic Committees services; sport and International Federations services; the Paralympic Games; media services; venues and infrastructure; Games operations; marketing; engagement; and technology.
The Commission will return to Rio de Janeiro next year in March for its sixth visit. This will be the first visit after Rio becomes the next host city in line following the close of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.