Quantcast
Latest Stories

Madrid’s Olympic hopes dashed a 3rd straight time



Fans react as Madrid loses bid to host 2020 Olympics. AP

MADRID — Tens of thousands of Spaniards were devastated after Madrid lost its bid to host the 2020 Olympics on Saturday amid fears about the country’s economy and unemployment rate.

It was the third straight time the capital failed in attempts to win the Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires eliminated the city in the first round of voting, with Tokyo beating Istanbul in the final round.

“What a blow,” Carlos Vinuesa, a 36-year-old owner of a food transport company, said. “It’s doubly disappointing because we lost both the bid and the party that Madrid had prepared. We had come with my family of three children, and frankly, this is a disaster.”

Once considered a long shot because of Spain’s deep financial crisis, Madrid’s bid gained momentum in the run-up to the IOC’s vote by arguing the games would stimulate economic growth.

But the crowd watching on large TV screens at Madrid’s Puerta de Alcala square was dejected when the news was announced at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT, 3 p.m. EDT), just when the streets of the city, known for its late dinners and even later nightlife, began to fill with nocturnal revelers.

The timing helped swell the large crowd already in place next to Retiro park, where Madrid had planned to hold beach volley matches during the Games.

But as a dark cloud appeared in time to dampen the spirits of the crowd with a rain shower, the party-like atmosphere was thoroughly ruined when IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that Madrid had been eliminated after a run-off vote with Istanbul following their tie in the first round.

A deathly hush descended on the crowd and the music came to a halt. The presenters on the stage thanked the crowd for coming and bade everyone good night. People immediately fell silent and started drifting away.

“I am in shock,” said 42-year-old Marta Castro, a housewife with three children. “I thought that it was a tiebreaker to see which city won and it turns out that it was to see which lost, and Madrid went out first. How sad! I hadn’t imagined it.”

Madrid has now lost in its bids to host the Summer Games in 1972, 2012, 2016 and 2020.

Madrid was aspiring to become the second Spanish city to hold the Olympics. Barcelona was able to transform itself from a postindustrial town into one of Europe’s biggest tourist destinations through the interest generated by the 1992 Summer Games.

The Madrid bid had linked the economic recovery of the capital and the rest of the struggling country suffering from a double-dip recession and 27 percent unemployment to winning the right to hold the Games, saying it would attract much-needed investment.

Many Spaniards hoped the chance to host the world’s biggest sporting event would have created jobs after the economy had been in recession for most of the past four years.

But Madrid’s “responsible,” thrifty bid based on having 80 percent of its venues already built wasn’t enough to convince the IOC members.

“It’s unbelievable that we went out first,” 67-year-old retiree Javier Escudero said. “And to think that we had almost everything ready with 80 percent built? And that they said Barcelona organized the best Olympics ever? They didn’t pay any attention to us. We’re nothing. There it’s only politics that matter and we aren’t good at that. It’s a shame and a pity.”

The economy wasn’t the only problem. Questions over its shaky anti-doping record hurt its past bids, and even a new anti-doping law passed recently apparently didn’t assuage all the lingering concerns.

“The initial shock at the decision is fading, and we can take away the commitment and the union that we all showed here. If that wasn’t compensated, well, that was never in our hands,” said basketball player Pau Gasol, who formed a part of Spain’s delegation and helped give its final presentation earlier Saturday. “The IOC voted according to its criteria. It’s too bad because I think we deserved to at least reach the final.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: 2020 Olympics , Barcelona , Bidding , Istanbul , Japan , Madrid , Spain , Summer Games , Tokyo

  • Cano Manuel

    It is not for the good of Madrid to host the 2020 Olympics. Take a look at Greece for example.

    • boboposter

      It should be good because you’ll need massive infrastructure projects which will generate employment. Funding will come from debt of course, which should and must pay off when the 2020 Olympics commence. If not, they’re in deep trouble.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Marketplace