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Continued: Led by Spanish Crown Prince, Madrid shines in 2020 Olympic presentations

  • Article by: STEPHEN WILSON , AP Sports Writer
  • Last update: July 3, 2013 - 1:30 PM

Madrid stressed that it has 80 percent of the venues ready and would need only $1.9 billion for Olympic construction.

"Madrid is not a bid based on dreams because we have already built it," the crown prince said. "It is a bid in keeping with the times. We have shouldered the responsibility and reduced the risks so that you, the IOC, do not have to take any."

Added bid leader Alejandro Blanco: "We are ready to stage the games now."

The Istanbul team included Turkey's deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Ali Babacan, who made a reference to the right of peaceful protests in his remarks to the IOC.

At a news conference afterward, Babacan said violent demonstrations can't be tolerated and he blamed "illegal organizations" for some of the trouble that led to a heavy police crackdown.

"There are many important things we learned from what happened and we are now working on what to do about it," he said.

Australian member Kevan Gosper asked the Istanbul delegation about press freedoms in Turkey but no one raised the issue of the protests.

"You've got to be careful you don't take it out of proportion," Pound said. "We all live in a 'Chicken Little' age where the sky is always falling in. It's seven years from now."

Istanbul defended its $19.4 billion infrastructure budget. Babacan acknowledged the figure "may seem large" but said $16.5 billion is already being invested in city projects, leaving only $2.9 billion for specific Olympic needs.

Istanbul bid chairman Hasan Arat urged the IOC to make a global statement by taking the games to a new region, a city that connects Asia and Europe. Turkey would also be the first predominantly Muslim country to host the games.

"Our city can guarantee and extraordinary games," Arat said. "The Olympic movement has stepped beyond sport to make history before, and you can do it again in Istanbul in 2020."

Tokyo, which hosted the games in 1964, portrays itself as the safest, most risk-free choice at a time of political and economic uncertainty. Japanese officials also stressed the economy, the third largest in the world, and the city's modern transport network.

"Every athlete and member of the games family will arrive on time, every time," Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose said. "No one will be stuck in a traffic jam when they should be competing, training or working."

The comment could be seen as a barb at Istanbul's congested traffic, an issue flagged up in the IOC evaluation report.

Tokyo also boasts a reserve fund of $4.5 billion — money in the bank — to be used for the Olympics.

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso — who competed in shooting at the 1976 Montreal Games — announced a new government initiative to send coaches and equipment to help develop sports projects in developing countries.

Aso said public support for the bid has been driven in part by the vision of the Olympics lifting Japan's spirits after the 2011 natural disaster that devastated the country.

"We wanted to rise again and this would be strengthened by hosting the Olympics," Aso said. "We can show the rest of the world that we have recovered so much."

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