Madrid, 5 August 2009 – Madrid’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games received a huge boost today as the Instituto Cervantes pledged to promote Madrid 2016 throughout the world in the last months before the final decision in October. The Instituto Cervantes is the largest organisation in the world responsible for promoting the study and teaching of Spanish and Hispanic-American language and culture.

The Instituto Cervantes will promote Madrid 2016 through its network of 73 centres across five continents where it currently runs many programmes dedicated to Spanish and Hispanic-American cultures and language. Members and pupils of the institute who have a passion for Spanish culture will be invited to learn first-hand about the details of Madrid’s bid to host the 2016 Games and the plans for this to be a unique Olympic ‘fiesta’.

In an official declaration of support, the Instituto Cervantes affirms it shares ‘common goals’ with Madrid 2016; in particular the organisation of a ‘Games with the Human Touch to unite the 450 million Spanish-speakers around the world and to promote the values of the Hispanic and Mediterranean cultures to a wider audience.’

The Instituto Cervantes also believes in the Olympics promoting a genuine rotation of cultures and that the 2016 Games ‘will consolidate Madrid as a leading city in the Hispanic world and as a bridge of cooperation and understanding with the American, European, Mediterranean and African cultures’. This is especially ‘after the Games of Beijing 2008 and London 2012 being examples of the Asian and Anglo-Saxon culture, respectively.’

This announcement is a major coup for Madrid’s Olympian candidacy, with this global Spanish network sharing the 2016 dreams of 85% of Spain’s residents, Spanish institutions, Spanish government and at the very top, Spain’s Royal Family.

“I am delighted that the Instituto Cervantes, with its huge influence throughout the world, will do all they can in the final months to promote our bid. We all dream of holding an Olympic and Paralympic Games which will capture the passion of the Spanish culture,” said Mercedes Coghen, Madrid 2016 chief executive.

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