Madrid, 30 July 2009 – Madrid’s bid for the 2016 Olympics is into the final lap. With two months until the IOC decides between Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo or Chicago to host the event, the Spanish capital is reaffirming its winning candidacy as a project of State – not simply of Madrid but of “the whole of Spain”. These were the words used by Mayor Alberto Gallardón today when he and other members of Madrid 2016 met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to discuss the bid and request formally that the prime minister accompanies the team to Copenhagen for the final vote.

The delegation headed up by the Mayor, included the Secretary of State for Sport Jaime Lissavetzky, President of the Spanish Olympic Committee Alejandro Blanco, Spain’s IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch, the Deputy Mayor Manuel Cobo and 2016 bid chief Mercedes Coghen. Underlining “the time for Madrid”, the meeting was given “the permanent support of the Spanish government” and reviewed the route map to the 2 October vote in Copenhagen, with milestones on the way including the World Athletics Championship in Berlin in August and the publication of the IOC’s Evaluation Commission report on 2 September.

“Madrid has every chance of being selected,” said the Mayor. “Before leaving for Copenhagen in October we want everyone in the country to show their full support for the bid. The desire of everyone in Madrid and Spain to host the 2016 Games amounts to “the highest percentage of any bid,” said the Mayor. Throughout the world Spanish diplomacy is also playing an important role.

The Secretary of State for Sport Lissavetzky talked to the prime minister about how the bid project had become more efficient and credible through greater growth, maturity and support. “We have done everything to guarantee a winning bid through innovation, ambition and popular and institutional support. We have a great opportunity; we are standing up for Madrid with a winning bet for Spain. The Mayor added the bid “unites everyone, regardless of their politics.”

At a time of global economic crisis, Madrid’s 77% of infrastructure already in place has inspired much confidence. “We have had a lot of contact with IOC members and many have congratulated us on our bid,” said the Mayor – these are not promised votes, “but they certainly wish us well.”

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