Exactly eight months ahead of the vote, the three cities vying for the 2020 Summer Olympics have submitted their bid files to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Bid leaders from Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo handed over their documents yesterday at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.
The books run to several hundred pages and represent the cities’ master plan of venues, budgets, financial guarantees, security, accommodation and other key aspects of the projects.
The files are to be released publicly by the bid cities today.
The IOC’s evaluation commission, headed by Craig Reedie of Britain, will visit the cities in March and prepare a report for IOC members in June. The full IOC will select the host city in a secret ballot in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7.
Turkey was represented by Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Turkish National Olympic Committee chairman and IOC member Uğur Erdener and Hasan Arat, the leader of Turkey’s bidding team at the IOC headquarters.
“This is a historic day for Istanbul and the Turkish nation,” Topbaş told yesterday. “The Istanbul 2020 bid is backed by the every single department of the government. Hosting the Games for the first time would be a remarkable achievement for the Turkish Republic, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary [in 2023].”
Istanbul’s bid underlines the significance of the city’s unique location, where two continents meet.
“We are very excited to be here to present our vision to the IOC in the capital city of the Olympics,” said bid leader Arat.
“Technically speaking, we have a flawless masterplan and organization structure. For the first time, athletes will compete both in Europe and Asia at the same time. It is now Istanbul’s turn and we are ready to make the dream come true,” he said.
TMOK chief Uğur Erdener said that although it was aiming to host the Games for the first time, Istanbul had enough experience in organizing top sports events.
“Istanbul has garnered serious experience recently, having hosted more than 20 high-profile international sports events in the last few years,” he said. “The Istanbul 2020 team has worked really hard to create a concept where the athletes will be given the best possible conditions to show their best performances.”
An additional report from The Associated Press was used in this story.