Istanbul 2020 Optimistic Ahead of Vote

Bid team leaves it all on the field in Buenos Aires during final days of ‘fascinating and inspiring’ two-year campaign

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina--()--After a presentation to the 125th IOC Session in which Istanbul 2020 pledged to give the Olympic Movement the historic opportunity to be “at its most powerful”, Bid Committee Chairman, Hasan Arat, said the team had “left it all on the field” in Buenos Aires during the final days of the two-year campaign.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan flew into Buenos Aires straight from the G20 summit in St Petersburg, Russia, in order to lead the Istanbul 2020 presentation team, demonstrating the Turkish government’s and his own personal commitment to the bid. The Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey for Economic and Financial Affairs, Ali Babacan, the Minister for Youth and Sport, Suat Kılıç, and the Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbaş were also part of the presentation team. The rest of the presentation team consisted of: Bid Committee Chairman, Hasan Arat; IOC member, President of the Turkish National Olympic Committee and President of World Archery, Professor Uğur Erdener; Turkish NOC Secretary General, Neşe Gündoğan; Istanbul 2020 CEO, Ali Kiremitçioğlu; Sports Director, Alp Berker; Paralympian, archer and Istanbul 2020 Ambassador, Gizem Girişmen; and Çağla Büyükakçay, Turkey’s number one female tennis player.

The delegation also included some of Turkey’s most prominent business leaders, as well as Istanbul 2020’s team of Young Ambassadors – the 50 young athletes under the age of 25 who sat in the front row of the Istanbul 2020 delegation for the final presentation, embodying the bid’s commitment to engaging the youth of the world.

Speaking in Buenos Aires immediately after Istanbul 2020’s final presentation to the IOC members, Arat said:

“We are delighted with how our final presentation went and how it was received, as well as with the achievements of this final week of our campaign. We have given it everything, left it all on the field in sporting terms. I feel so proud and privileged to have been given this wonderful opportunity to head this bid for my country. We have had extremely enthusiastic feedback from all of the members of Olympic Family we have spoken to and we feel optimistic about the outcome of the vote later today.”

Looking back on the two-year campaign, Arat went on: “We are so grateful to the IOC for the opportunity we have been given to bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the opportunity to present our bid to all of the assembled members here in Buenos Aires. This is the culmination of a fascinating and inspiring two-year journey.

“The Bid has united the people of Turkey, especially our young people, behind a common vision for our country’s future. Whatever happens with the vote, this bid has brought the whole nation together; it has inspired and engaged our younger generation; and it has made a lasting connection between Turkey and the Olympic Movement.”

The final days of the bid campaign have left members of the Olympic Family gathering in the city with a clear message: “vote for Istanbul today and you will be choosing to make history”.

Arat said: “Quite simply, Istanbul is the historic choice. Hosting the 2020 Games in Istanbul offers the Olympic Movement and the world a brand new experience in a brand new country and a brand new culture. Istanbul 2020 will be the first Olympic Games to be held on two continents simultaneously; it will be the first Games in a predominantly Muslim nation; and it will be the first Games in a country where nearly 50% of the population is under 25 years old.”

Arat said: “Istanbul 2020 is Turkey’s national priority number one. Our bid has the passionate and wholehearted support of the entire country, from the Prime Minister and the President, from Turkish business and especially from the millions of our young people who are represented here by our 50 young ambassadors. All of our hopes and dreams are now in the hands of the IOC.”

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Valerie von Eberhardt, +32 478 58 60 05


Valerie von Eberhardt, +32 478 58 60 05