The race to become the next IOC president "came into sharp focus Thursday with the contenders taking their case directly to the voters," according to the AP. The candidates each made 15-minute presentations to the general assembly, "the first time such campaign speeches have been held in an IOC presidential race." With more than 80 IOC members in the hall, Thursday's presentations "were made behind closed doors and no questions were allowed." When it was over, the "most visibly emotional candidate was Richard Carrion of Puerto Rico, whose eyes welled up as he talked about the experience." Carrion: "I said everything that was in my heart. This was a chat with my colleagues. It was extremely emotional, extremely moving for me." Also speaking were IOC VPs Thomas Bach, of Germany, and Ng Ser Miang, of Singapore, exec board members Sergei Bubka, of Ukraine, and C.K. Wu, of Taiwan, and former board member Denis Oswald, of Switzerland (AP, 7/4). R-Sport reported the soaring costs of hosting the Olympics "could be in for a trim" if Bubka is elected president. Bubka said the IOC should "continue to look for balance in expenditure on hosting the Olympic Games." Bubka added, "Clear planning, correct management of the legacy left over from the Games, using existing facilities, and also the experience organizers have received -- those are very important factors in the success of our job" (R-SPORT, 7/5).
MADRID MOMENTUM: The AFP reported Madrid left Lausanne "having convinced many they can be entrusted with the 2020 Summer Games." Their technical presentation to the IOC members -- who will vote on the host city in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7 -- "received universal praise." Neither Istanbul, running their most impressive bid after four previous failures, nor Tokyo, the only one of the three to have previously hosted the Games in '64, "performed disastrously and remain in contention but it was Madrid that has the momentum" (AFP, 7/5).
Following a vote by IOC members at the Extraordinary IOC Session in Lausanne, Switzerland on Thursday, IOC President Jacques Rogge announced that Buenos Aires will host the Summer Youth Olympic Games in '18. Buenos Aires was elected ahead of Glasgow, Scotland and Medellín, Colombia. Voting took place in two rounds, with Buenos Aires leading the way with 40 votes, followed by Medellín with 32 and Glasgow with 13 in Round 1. In Round 2, Buenos Aires beat out Medellín 49-39 (IOC).
BUENOS AIRES: The DPA reported Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) President Gerardo Werthein said, "This is historic, the result of great teamwork. Decades ago Buenos Aires lost against Melbourne by only one vote for the 1956 Summer Games." Buenos Aires Head of City Government Mauricio Macri said, "It is an enormous pleasure, an enormous amount of teamwork. There was nothing easy about winning this, which is an event that has taken a lot and has a lot of importance internationally. We will see how we organize it in '18" (DPA, 7/4).
GLASGOW: The AYRSHIRE POST reported Britain's most successful Olympian, Chris Hoy, "was part of a delegation at IOC headquarters" to make the final presentation, and was joined by British Olympic Association Chair Sebastian Coe. Glasgow 2018 organizers were "disappointed" but congratulated the winners (AYRSHIRE POST, 7/4).
MEDELLÍN: EL TIEMPO reported Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said, "Well done, Colombia and Medellín. In the bid to host the Summer Youth Olympic Games, we remain united in our athletic goals." Medellín Mayor Aníbal Gaviria said, "We waved the flags of the city and the country high" (EL TIEMPO, 7/4).
Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said Friday that 37,000 police officers "had been deployed" to protect the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to the MOSCOW TIMES. Kolokoltsev was "repeating official assurances to make the Olympics safe despite the threat of an Islamist insurgency in the region." Kolokoltsev said on Rossia 24 state TV that a multi-layer security system in Sochi "was fully compatible" with IOC demands. He added that "it had proven its efficiency in test events there." Security Council Head Nikolai Patrushev said that "special services of several other nations would closely cooperate with Russian security agencies to protect the Sochi Games" (MOSCOW TIMES, 7/7).
A group of Korean citizens is "campaigning to have Tokyo dropped as a venue for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games," according to the JAPAN TIMES. The group, called Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), has written the IOC and has also "been circulating an online petition to thwart Tokyo’s selection." VANK’s website describes itself as a “cyber diplomatic organization” with 70,000 members. The Yonhap news agency and various Korean publications reported that in a letter sent on April 5, VANK appealed to the IOC, raising the matter of anti-Korean demonstrations in Tokyo and Osaka by ultranationalist groups as prime examples of Japan’s “discriminatory” demonstrations, which it claims “contradict the IOC’s stated principles of Peace and Humanism.” The letter to the IOC "included clippings of coverage on this topic by the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN." VANK President Park Ki-Tae Park denounced the demonstrations in Japan as “... fomenting the world’s fear of war, and evoking a revival of the imperialism that left behind wounds to people in neighboring countries that linger to this day” (JAPAN TIMES, 7/7).
Following each candidacy's final presentation to voters last week, Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President Alejandro Blanco "will travel the world with the goal of finding support" for Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympics, according to Matilla & Jiménez of AS. First, Blanco will go to Côte d’Ivoire on Thursday and tour other African countries until Sunday. The next week, "Blanco could go to Ecuador." In August, Blanco will attend the Judo World Cup in Rio de Janeiro (AS, 7/7).