- Title: FILE: OLYMPICS - Madrid bid for 2016
- Date: 2nd October 2009
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 27, 2009) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING TOWARDS CIBELES SQUARE CROWD CHANTING AND HOLDING UP GREEN AND YELLOW PLACARDS HELICOPTER FLYING OVERHEAD, THEN TILT TO CROWD BANNERS READING "MADRID 2016" AND "TENGO UNA CORAZONADA" ("I FEEL IT IN MY BONES", THEN TILT TO CROWD AERIAL OF HUMAN MOSAIC, PANNING ACROSS THE CROWD
- Embargoed: 17th October 2009 13:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA25KWOV5ZLLDXIS6582HE634OH
- Story Text: Madrid is one of four cities that could emerge as the host city of the 2016 Olympics when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announce their decision on 2 October.
The Spanish capital has never held a Summer Olympics before but was one of five shortlisted candidate cities for the 2012 Olympic Games, which were eventually awarded to London.
This time around, Madrid enjoys the highest support among all bid cities, with 84.9 percent of the capital's residents backing the bid, according to the IOC's own poll.
Madrid has already begun work on new stadiums, including a 22,000-seater football and athletics stadium that will become home to the football club AtlÃ©tico Madrid. It is locally known as "La Peineta" because it resembles the hair-comb worn by flamenco dancers, and if Madrid won the bid, it would become the main Olympic Stadium.
Madrid's strategy is to keep almost all the venues within a 10-kilometre radius, easily accessible by public transport. The organising committee point out that of the four cities, Madrid would likely need the smallest budget to host the Games. Twenty-three of the 33 venues needed to host the Games are already ready, including Madrid's famous Santiago BernabÃ©u Stadium, home to Real Madrid.
The oppressive summer heat of Madrid and its lack of a sandy shoreline might put some visitors off but the Spanish capital still has plenty to offer.
Refuge from the blazing sunshine can be sought in a world-class art museum or leafy park and tourists can sample tapas on a cool terrace as the evening temperature dips and then party through the night to burn off the calories.
Madrid is home to just over 3 million people and attracts millions more each year with its rich cultural heritage, diverse architecture, hundreds of restaurants and bars and deserved reputation as Europe's party central.
The city has quadrupled in size in the last half century but most of the main tourist sites are within a walkable central area that is also served by a clean, safe and efficient metro.
Temperatures soar to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in July and August and the city's superb art museums and well-maintained parks provide escape.
The plan involves converting a section of the Manzanares into a park, including bicycle paths, cafes, restaurants -- and an urban beach.
In its last report released before the October 2nd decision, the IOC expressed concern over a lack of "clear delineation" on the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders and their financial support.
Madrid also took a hit with the IOC still unclear whether national anti-doping laws complied with the World Anti-Doping Agency code, a point of greater importance for the IOC in recent years as it seeks to crack down on cheats during the Games.
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