Madrid bids to prove that ‘size is not everything’

Madrid bids to prove that ‘size is not everything’

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Madrid bids to prove that ‘size is not everything’

Theresa Zabell is the chief executive of Madrid 2020 Organization.

Madrid hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games can demonstrate to the world they can be done effectively on a reasonable budget, the bid’s international chief executive Theresa Zabell told Agence France-Presse.

The 48-year-old - a two-time Olympic gold yachting medalist with the first title coming in Barcelona in 1992 - said it was imperative that the Games did not get more and more expensive and therefore out of reach of a lot of cities who might wish to host them.

Her message will find a sympathetic audience among several of the candidates bidding to succeed International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge, when he steps down in Buenos Aires on September 10.

Neighbors count

Thomas Bach, the man seen as the front runner to replace Rogge, said something along those lines when he launched his campaign earlier this year in that organising the Games should be as attractive and feasible for as many cities and countries as possible.

Zabell, born in England but who moved with her parents to Spain within a year of her birth, said a Madrid victory in the vote by the 100+ IOC members in Buenos Aires on September 7 would launch a new model for a Games.

“We cannot let the Games get more and more expensive every time,” said Zabell, who also won gold in the 1996 Olympics.

“We can demonstrate and show them that a Games can be put on on a reasonable budget.

“It’s about a whole new model.” Zabell, who was also a world champion five times, said people were astonished when they visited Madrid that the woeful economic state of Spain was not reflected on the streets.

“I think so much of the talk about Spain in the last few years has got people thinking Spain and the state of the economy,” she said.

Madrid, Istanbul and Tokyo are racing to host the 2020 Games.