Optimistic Istanbul 2020 team arrives in Buenos Aires

Optimistic Istanbul 2020 team arrives in Buenos Aires

Optimistic Istanbul 2020 team arrives in Buenos Aires

An undated handout picture from the Istanbul Olympic committee shows the logo for their bid to host the 2020 summer Olympics. AFP Photo

The Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee today begins its “Olympic training camp” in Buenos Aires, Argentina, full of optimism that the city’s fifth bid has the best chance yet of bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Turkey for the first time in history.

Istanbul 2020 chairman Hasan Arat arrived with the advance team yesterday evening, ready to begin the final preparations for the climax of the two-year campaign, according to a written statement by the bidding committee.

“This is our Olympic Games, so just like an Olympic team we are taking the time to acclimatize to new surroundings, bond with our teammates and fine-tune our strategy for the main event next week,” Arat said in Buenos Aires. “For more than 20 years, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been one of Turkey’s deepest ambitions, and we have the whole country right behind us. We don’t feel pressure – we feel great excitement. We know we have an excellent bid and we are confident that this is Turkey’s time to welcome the Olympic Movement and connect it with new, fresh audiences.”

Arat noted that the team was in Buenos Aires with great support from the Turkish people for the bid.

“I am looking forward to renewing our excellent dialogue with the IOC members,” the Istanbul 2020 chairman said. “Istanbul has never been better prepared to host the Games and we have a record 94 percent of the population backing our bid: there is nothing but optimism in our camp. We are in a tight three-way race, but we believe we can win the gold medal for Turkey.”

In its fifth bid to host the Olympic Games, Istanbul is competing with Spain’s Madrid and Tokyo in Japan. The host city for the 2020 Games will be announced Sept. 6.