January 16 - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy today urged the country to unite behind Madrid's bid to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the same they did Barcelona 1992.
Madrid are considered the outsiders in the race behind rivals Tokyo and Istanbul, mainly because of Spain's dire economic situation, but Rajoy was optimistic after he had been officially presented with a copy of the city's Candidature file.
"The Candidature file is the very best example of the excellence that can be achieved by team work and faithful cooperation between the various levels of Government," he said after receiving the document from Madrid Mayor Ana Botella and Madrid 2020 President Alejandro Blanco at a ceremony held at the Moncloa Palace, his official residence in the Spanish capital.
Madrid claims to be the largest capital in Europe never to have hosted the Olympics and Botela believes that all of Spain wants to see them return to the country when the International Olympic Committee votes at its Session in Buenos Aires on September 7.
"This is an Olympic bid by the whole of Spain, one that goes beyond the city and is a national project, a project for everyone and based on efficient, simplified and intelligent management," she said.
"It has the support of the entire country."
This is Madrid's fourth bid for the Olympics and their third in a row, having lost out to London for 2012 and Rio de Janeiro for 2016.
Of the three bidders their plan can boast having the most venues ready.
"The organisation and plan for the Madrid Games are guaranteed, backed and promoted by the entire Government and the Prime Minister," said Blanco.
He added that the project was credible, achievable, controllable, responsible, and – using a word he said he was keen to bring to Rajoy's attention – "predictable", in that it was a project that could only lead to success.
"We have every faith in the sporting and organisational ability of Spain," said Blanco.
"We are a benchmark throughout the world thanks to the quality of our sportsmen and women, our coaches and our federations."
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