Thursday, September 03, 2009

Madrid's Fading Olympic Flame

Madrid's attempt to host the 2016 Olympic Games has taken a serious knock following the issuing of the reports on the candidate cities yesterday. It looks like their Powerpoint skills may have let them down, or perhaps lunch wasn't to the liking of the visiting delegation? In any case the city is trailing behind rivals such as Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo. Personally I'm delighted at the news, there may be cases where hosting the Games brings a real boost to a city but that is only the situation where those in charge have the imagination and skill to use the event to make a difference. Madrid's administration fails on both counts, the bid being much more about the attempt by mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón to promote himself and his political career at vast expense for an already heavily indebted city. Two strikes and you're out, Madrid already lost the last time around.

The City of Eternal Trenches has been a sight for sore eyes this summer as Plan E has come to the rescue of the Pharaoh´s broken budget. I have read reports that those taking the open topped tourist buses that drive around the city centre have seen little else except workmen drilling holes in the asphalt. The smart Olympic betting says that Rio will get much of the Latin American support and that some European countries will not support the Spanish bid because they intend to be contenders for the following games. Then there is the question of whether Obama throws his weight behind Chicago. Given that the final selection might well be based on what we should call "other criteria", there could still be hope for Gallardón. He doesn't have much else to look forward to at the moment, having had to resign himself to being the PP candidate for mayor yet again in 2011. His waiting game continues, but life is much less fun with no money to spend.


Lavengro said...

I don't know why Madrid even tried. With the 2012 Games in London it is certain that the 2016 ones will not be in Europe. And with 2008 having been in China the southern hemisphere will be a good bet.

Graeme said...

I guess Alberto figured he might be doing something else in the run up to 2020?