Great Expectations for the 2016 Applicant Cities
This week at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, the seven Applicant Cities for the 2016 Olympic Games – Baku (Azerbaijan), Chicago (USA), Doha (Qatar), Madrid (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Tokyo (Japan)* – are all attending the 2016 Applicant Cities’ Seminar. The meeting, which has as its main focus the Applicant City bid process, and also touches on the Candidate City phase that follows, is giving the potential Olympic hosts the opportunity to learn what is expected from them during this first part of the 2016 bid process. The cities have also been getting the opportunity to learn from the experience of people who have been through the process previously, with expert speakers with knowledge of the front line of Games bidding and organisation providing first-hand experience of what the potential hosts can expect.
A key message emanating from many of the presentations this week has been the importance of building the right relationships, early on, with all of the relevant parties that will be involved in helping to organise the Games. The organisation of the modern Olympic Games is very much a team effort, with all levels of government, commercial partners, public services, community groups, local populations and, of course, sports authorities involved in the successful organisation of this complex event. It was made clear by the speakers that if these relationships are not in place, bidding for the Games becomes a very difficult task indeed.
Creating a Legacy Now
The subjects of sustainable development and legacy, which are often associated with what happens after the Games are over, were addressed in a special section of the seminar that showed that legacy and sustainability planning and management are key concepts that need to be built into a bid from its very earliest stages in order to avoid unnecessary costs and waste. It was also revealed that there can be a great legacy from bidding, even if you are ultimately not the city elected to host the Games, with a number of examples from previous bid cities showing that, thanks to the efforts made in the candidacy, a number of important legacies were left to the city and its people.
2016 Olympic Games
The next deadline for the seven Applicant Cities for the 2016 Olympic Games is the returning of the Applicant City Questionnaire to the IOC on 14 January 2008. The questionnaires will then be analysed, and the IOC Executive Board accepts Candidate Cities at the beginning of June 2008. There then follows a candidature procedure, which includes participation in the Beijing 2008 observers programme, and which will culminate in the election of the 2016 Host City at the IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2 October 2009.
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