Madrid mayor rules out 2024 Olympic bid

Madrid, Sep 12 (IANS): Madrid Mayor Ana Botella announced Thursday that the Spanish capital will not bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Botella made the announcement just five days after Madrid lost out to Tokyo in its bid to be the host city of the 2020 Olympics, reports Xinhua.

"I think that at this moment the Olympic race has given us all the benefits that we can expect from it in the coming years. I think, therefore, that Madrid should not look to celebrate the Games in 2024," she said.

The Mayor did, however, insist that work on the Olympic Stadium, which will become the new home of Atletico Madrid football club in 2016 and the Aquatic centre, which is currently just a hole in the ground, will continue and not be abandoned.

Madrid had been expected to compete directly against the Japanese capital in the final round of voting in Buenos Aires, but went out in the first round after polling just 26 votes among IOC members.

Although this was the same as Istanbul, the Turkish city then defeated Madrid in a tiebreaker.

The Madrid 2020 bid had claimed that 91 percent of all Spaniards had supported the bid to host the 2020 Games.

Although that figure may be somewhat optimistic, what is clear is that the defeat and some aspects of the Madrid candidacy, such as Botella's ill-advised speech in English during the presentation, saw public opinion quickly turn against the city presenting itself for 2024.

A 2024 bid would have been the fourth consecutive time Madrid had attempted to host the Games and perhaps tired of the disappointment, as well as thinking that the required money would be better spent elsewhere, polls carried out after Saturday showed over 70 percent of Spaniards were against Madrid competing to host the Summer Games.

On returning to Spain after the disappointment of a third consecutive failure to host the Olympics, members of the Madrid 2020 exhibition had been non-committal over whether or not the city would present a candidacy, with the general line being that the city needed time to consider the failure and look at the reasons why it had once again been unable to convince the IOC.


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Title: Madrid mayor rules out 2024 Olympic bid

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