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SBD Global/January 8, 2013/Olympics

Istanbul, Madrid And Favorite Tokyo Set Off On The 2020 Olympics Race

The three cities bidding to host the 2020 Olympics submitted their official candidature files to the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday, "marking the start of eight months of intensive campaigning," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo are "hoping to host the Games at a time of global economic uncertainty and renewed scrutiny over the benefits of hosting the Olympics." The winning bid will be chosen at an IOC session in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sept. 7. Tokyo's bid has already been "installed as the favourites by bookmakers and is seen as the safest option." Many of its venues are already built, and leaders "will position its bid as a means of bringing the country together in the wake of the natural disasters that hit the country in '11." It is also "well positioned geographically, with many seeing it as Asia's turn to host the Olympics," in the wake of Games in Europe and South America. Istanbul, "as the bridge between east and west, is seen as having similar emotional pull this time around." Both Tokyo and Madrid have many of their venues already built, resulting in Istanbul representing "a risk, as many of them would have to be constructed from scratch." Madrid, "seen as outsiders by the bookmakers and bidding for the third consecutive time, will have to address questions over Spain's parlous financial state and its likely long-term repercussions" (GUARDIAN, 1/7).
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Olympics, Europe, Japan

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