September 5 - Basketball superstar Pau Gasol has expressed here how important he considers sport and the Olympic Games as he hopes that it will be third time lucky for Madrid in their bid to host the Games in 2020.
As well as winning silver medals at both the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games for the Spanish national team, Gasol also plies his trade in the United States for National Basketball Association (NBA) powerhouses LA Lakers.
His presence here boosts Madrid's attempts to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games ahead of the decision being made on Saturday (September 7) as part of the 125th International Olympic Committee (IOC) session.
Speaking in front of a packed house here, Gasol believes Madrid has learnt the lessons of its two failed attempts in 2005 and 2009 - when they lost to London and Rio de Janeiro respectively - and will experience better fortunes this time around.
"Our bid is very and strong and poses no risk for the Olympic Games," he said.
"I was in Singapore in 2005 and we learnt a lot there and in Copenhagen four years later.
"Bidding again shows our willingness to host the Games.
"In Singapore [in 2005] it was intense and we were disappointed, but now we have grown up and that experience may be decisive on Saturday."
Although Gasol's hugely successful NBA career has included two Championship titles he still considers the Olympic Games the ultimate dream of every athlete:
"It's unique and the feelings you have there are incomparable with anything else," he said.
"Even if you are part of a big team throughout the year the Olympics is something no one wants to miss.
Although he did admit that in his home town of Barcelona some people support the rival cities bid "more strongly than others" this is something that is "natural" and what counts is that most of the country is behind the bid.
He explained how everyone he has been in contact with has conveyed enthusiasm and wished him luck and that enthusiasm levels are just as high as in 2005 and 2009.
This message about Madrid's credentials was reinforced by the middleweight boxing world champion Sergio Martinez, who followed Gasol in speaking in favour of the bid.
Although an Argentinean, Martinez is based in Madrid and sees the city as a "superpower with all the necessary comfort, facilities and accommodation."
He argued how it is at the level it is today for a reason and praised the "generosity and warmth of the Spanish people" as better than anything he has experienced elsewhere
Martinez also refused to accept that the economic crisis - a subject which has dogged Madrid 2020 throughout its campaign - would negatively affect Spain's ability to host the Games.
"The crisis is world over and no country has escaped," he said.
"As an Argentinean I can see differences between the economic crisis here and there.
"Spain has excellent infrastructure already in place and people in Madrid are willing and ready to work and the Olympics will be a further investment
With Gusol and Martinez being joined in support of Madrid's bid by footballer Lionel Messi earlier this week they are certainly gaining athletic endorsement ahead of Saturday's vote.
It is unclear how much this will influence voting IOC members but the positive reaction here appears another indication of momentum building in Madrid's favour at this late stage.
September 2013: Messi does support Madrid 2020, even though he endorses sponsor of rival and plays for Barcelona
September 2013: Madrid 2020 has a "magnificent opportunity" to secure victory, says arriving Prince Felipe
August 2013: Messi refuses to publicly support Madrid 2020 as tension mounts in Buenos Aires