Madrid, February 5th 2005
The Evaluation Commission members have split today into two groups to visit the sport facilities that had not been examined before. The President of the Commission, Nawal el Moutawakel, the IOC Executive Director, Gilbert Felli, together with Els van Breda, Patrick Jarvis, Mustafa Larfaoui, Sam Ramsamy, Frank Fredericks and Philippe Bovy, have decided to check the venues located in the city centre.
This first group has been able to examine the Hypodrome, the Club de Campo (venue for the hockey, archery and modern pentathlon competitions), the Casa de Campo Park (triathlon, mountain bike and basketball), the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre (tennis), the Sports Hall of the Community of Madrid (handball) and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (football and cyclism).
A second group has departed at the same time to Paracuellos (shooting), Rivas-Vaciamadrid (baseball and softball), Aranjuez (rowing and canoeing), La Gavia Park (wild water canoeing), and the Vicente Calderon and Santiago Bernabeu Stadiums.
Four Commission members have joined this route: Bob Elphinston, Simon Balderstone, Ser Miang Ng and Paul Henderson. The Argentinean Jose Luis Marco has stayed at the hotel in order to work with the documents handed out by Madrid 2012 Olympic Office, although he has joined the first group just in time to visit the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre.
In the first route, the eight commissioners have gone to the Hypodrome, where HRH Pilar de Borbon, President of the International Equestrian Federation and IOC member, was waiting for them.
Later, the group has visited the Club de Campo, where the hockey, archery and modern pentathlon competitions will be held. In this moment, one of the day’s anecdotes has taken place when Sam Ramsamy has showed his skills playing golf.
After that, the IOC delegation has examined the sport facilities located in the Casa de Campo and the Madrid Arena, venues of the basketball, triathlon and mountain bike competitions.
Once they have had lunch, the commissioners have visited the building works of the Manzanares Park Tennis Centre and have been able to attend the first competition which is organized in the new Sports Hall of the Community of Madrid, the Spanish Athletics Championships Under-23. This would be the venue of the handball in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Finally, they have visited the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, where they have met their four colleagues again. Once they have reached the football pitch, the President of the Commission, Nawal El Moutawakel, Gilbert Felli and Frank Fredericks have kicked some penalty kicks, which has been other of the anecdotes of the day.
The second group has seen the fields where the Shooting Centre of Paracuellos would be built, the baseball and softball venues in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, the La Gavia Park, Aranjuez and the Vicente Calderon and Santiago Bernabeu Stadiums.
In Paracuellos, shooting competition venue, the Olympic delegation has been welcomed with the traditional breakfast of this municipality. From the tent where they have had breakfast they have moved to the fields where the shooting centre would be built together with Paz Gonzalez, Environmental Councillor.
The next stop has been the fields of the future baseball stadium in Rivas-Vaciamadrid, which they have seen from the flat roof of the Covibar 2 department store.
This group has travelled afterwards to Aranjuez, a historical municipality only 50 kilometres from Madrid, where the rowing competition will take place. They have had lunch there before going back to Madrid to visit the Vicente Calderon and Santiago Bernabeu Stadiums.
In the subsequent press conference, Manuel Cobo, Deputy Mayor of Madrid, has stated that “Madrid is the city where you have to use your imagination less. It is the one with more built infrastructures”. “What the bids usually do is to present only great projects, but that is not the case of Madrid. It is true that there is a part we still have to build, but it is the smallest part”, he has added.
Cobo has also said that “a lot of people used to ask us if it was good or not to be the first city in being examined, and now I really think that it has been very good for us. We have set the bar very high. It is so difficult to make it even better, but we will keep on working until July 6th”.
On his part, Feliciano Mayoral, President-CEO of Madrid 2012, has said, as a proof of Madrid readiness to host the Games, that “the IFEMA Trade Fair Grounds, which would host the 30% of the Olympic Sports in 2012, could in fact host the 50% of them”.
Mayoral has also stated that he hopes that “the best project will win and the best project is Madrid 2012” and has reiterated that “in 2008, the 90% of the venues will be ready. This is not an exaggeration, Madrid is ready”.
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