Doha confirms 2020 Olympics bid

August 27, 2011
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Qatar has confirmed that it will join the race to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was open to the idea of the event being held outside the traditional July-August window.

The Qatari announcement came less than nine months after being awarded football’s showpiece on an emotionally-charged December evening in Zurich.

“In light of the decision of President Rogge and the IOC Executive Board, I am delighted to formally announce Doha’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020,” Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s Crown Prince and Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) President, said on Friday evening.

“It is fitting that the dream of hosting the Games should come to the Middle East at this time; our bid can inspire peace and is a priority for our youthful region. Sport and Olympism together instil self-discipline, teamwork, drive and help teach all of us the means of achieving our personal goals. To simply have a chance to enter the bidding process is a step closer to realising something very special for our nation, our region and the Olympic Movement,” he said.

Doha sought to host the 2016 Games, but lost out to Rio de Janeiro after the IOC then was not flexible on the dates of the event. Qatar wanted to host the Games in October to avoid the stifling summer heat, but the IOC insisted that the Games could be only held during July-August, arguing it was the only time of the year when there was a lull in other sporting activity worldwide and the sponsors could derive maximum mileage, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported.

“I wish to personally thank Jacques Rogge and the IOC for guiding us through and supporting the QOC in entering the bidding race without the disadvantage of dates,” Shaikh Tamim said. “I look forward to working closely with the IOC and the wider Olympic family hopefully all the way through to the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September 2013 for what could be an historic moment for the Olympic Movement and the Middle East.”

Shaikh Saud Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, QOC secretary general, said that QOC “appreciated the understanding shown by the IOC.”

“We have listened and learned from our 2016 attempt to bid for the Games. We have also consulted all of the current Olympic sport International Federations and are pleased to have received a very favourable response to our proposed dates,” he said.

“This has been a fruitful journey, and we are pleased that the IOC has granted us permission to propose hosting the Games between September 20th and October 20th. We know that it is imperative that we guarantee ideal conditions for athletes, technicians and spectators, and ensure events are scheduled appropriately for broadcasters and that is what we will do.”

According to the official, Doha has the needed experience to host international sporting competitions.”

“We have the passion, desire and the commitment to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that the whole world will be proud of. We would ensure that the Games in Doha will be a fitting tribute to the work of the Olympic Movement to help create a better world through the power of sport,” he said, quoted by the daily.

Ace shooter and rally driver Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah, currently preparing for the London 2012 Olympics, was thrilled at Qatar’s announcement.

“Doha’s bid for the 2020 Games is designed to inspire hope in a new and youthful Middle East, offer the entire region a chance to connect with the positive values of Olympism and greatly contribute to the promotion of the Olympic Movement throughout the region and around the world,” he said.

“We can bring the world’s greatest sporting event to new audiences and highlight how the spirit of human dignity and peace can be fostered through sport, helping to build bridges of understanding between different cultures, communities and nations. As a young boy, I watched the Games on a television screen, today I have the opportunity to actively represent my country in the Olympic Games and for me to welcome my fellow athletes and IOC Family as host to the Games would be a dream come true.”

The deadline for submitting a bid for the 2020 Olympics is next Thursday and the host city will be announced at the IOC session in September 2013.

Rome, Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo have all declared their intention to host the Games. If successful in the new bid, Doha will become the first Muslim city to host the world’s largest multi-sport event.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/doha-confirms-2020-olympics-bid-1.857785

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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