September 7 - Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy claimed here today that the the country's deep economic crisis has put Madrid in a great position to host a "risk-free" 2020 Olympic and Paralympics.
Rajoy tried to turn what many people believed to be a major weakness of Madrid's bid into a major selling point in his final pitch to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its Session where they faced rivals Istanbul and Tokyo.
He claimed Spain is "on the road to recovery" with no inflation and growth already resuming after cutting public spending by more than any other leading economy.
"Madrid offers a safe, solid and reliable bid," Rajoy said.
"In fact, Madrid 2020 has perhaps the most reasonable and responsible financial foundation in recent Olympic history.
"All levels of Government support the bid.
"Eighty per cent of the investment has already been undertaken and the Government guarantees the remainder.
"There is no risk to the Olympic Movement."
Juan Antonio Samaranch, whose father was the IOC President for 20 years until 2001, told the IOC members that after three unsuccessful bids, Madrid "has been planning for years.
"The best solution to mitigate the risk is to choose a city that has been prepared in advance, is financially sound and has a simple and straightforward plan.
"Madrid is ready, our budget is reasonable and our technical plan is excellent.
"Madrid is presented for the third time because our Olympic legacy is already in motion.
"We promise Games that make financial sense,"
Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, whose presentation to the IOC at the technical meeting in July had helped propel Madrid into the position as favourites coming into this Session, told them that "after Barcelona 92 all of Spain was bursting with pride, I really want young people to feel the same way now".
Felipe, an Olympic sailor who carried Spain's flag in Barcelona told the IOC delegates Madrid had benefited from two failed bids "the Olympic dream is still alive for all of us" he said.
"Speaking as a father, I have seen said Olympism at work, and I know that it can deliver that bright future for all young people and to my daughters."
But, like during Istanbul's presentation earlier, Madrid faced some tough questions on doping, including the Operación Puerto scandal and the country's perceived soft attitude towards performance-enhancing drugs.
"Spain is at the forefront of the countries that fight against doping," Alejandro Blanco, President of Madrid 2020 and the Spanish Olympic Committee, said.
"Not only by the number of controls but by the laws we have introduced.
"We've fulfilled our commitment, we have adapted the law.
"We believe in clean sport in the athlete and the effort."
Madrid is pushing hard the "third time lucky" line, hoping to follow Pyeongchang, who two years ago at the IOC Session in Durban were awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics after two previous failed bids.
They are turning the disappointment of the failed bids into a positive telling the IOC they have not only learned from those bids, they have built on them.
Madrid's presentation was interrupted by a lightning storm, meaning that the only people who got to see the whole programme were those fortunate enough to be inside the Session room.
When the feed came up back it was to show a video featuring opera star Placido Domingo, actor Antonio Banderas and singer Alejandro Sanz claiming Madrid "is better prepared to make history after previously missing the honour to host the Olympic Games.
"Madrid makes sense, we have not given up."
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