Madrid 2020: Financial crisis won’t affect bid

Spain’s financial crisis should not affect Madrid’s third

consecutive Olympic bid and hosting the games could help the

country recover from the recession, leaders of the 2020 candidacy

said Monday.

Madrid unveiled a colorful bid logo, stepping up its latest

campaign after failed attempts for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Spain’s economic downturn has left nearly one in four Spaniards

unemployed and a youth jobless rate of 45 percent, but organizers

believe the Olympics could help Spain emerge from its prolonged

downturn.

”Today is an important day for the future of Spanish sport, for

the future of this country,” bid leader and Spanish Olympic

Committee president Alejandro Blanco said. ”We want (the

Olympics). We can do it. we dream of them, we are in love with them

and we need them. We owe it to society, and, above all, to the

youth that encourages us.”

The bid budget already has been slashed by 40 percent to about

$35 million.

A university student designed Spain’s new logo, and much of

Monday’s presentation seemed directed at a younger generation.

Mayor Ana Botella offered complete support to the bid, and the

Spanish government also has backed another try at landing the

Olympics. Madrid finished runner-up to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and

finished third in the race for the 2012 Games, which will be held

in London.

Madrid is competing against Rome, Tokyo, Istanbul, Doha in Qatar

and Baku, Uzbekistan.

Bid documents must be submitted by Feb. 15 to the International

Olympic Committee, which will select the host city in September

2013.

”This bid will be led by athletes,” Botella said of a

candidacy that includes at least six Spanish athletes. ”Madrid is

capable of organizing the greatest games in history. We deserve the

games.”

Madrid is hoping the IOC rewards the city on its third try just

as it did for Pyeongchang, the South Korean resort which landed the

2018 Winter Games after two previous failed bids.

The new Madrid logo is based on the city’s ”Puerta de Alcala,”

an 18th-century neoclassical monument that once acted as one of the

main entrances to the city. It resembles the multicolored hand logo

of the 2016 bid.