Today the capital city of Spain didn’t get awarded the 2016 Olympic Games – they went to the Brazilian City of Rio de Janeiro.
I normally have my siesta around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but today I watched the Olympic Games conference live on TV from Copenhagen where they were to vote for the next Games after London.
The Spanish contingent made a great job of convincing the Olympic Committee that Madrid would be the best place for the 2016 games.
They swapped between speeches and very professional video displays showing the amenities and the spirit of the Games would be like in Madrid.
They had the King; Juan Carlos I, President Zapatero, the Mayor and President of Madrid, ex-president of the Olympic committee; Juan Antonio Samaranch, and many starts of Spanish sport, with speeches made in English, French and Spanish.
The videos that were played between the stirring speeches showed the multi-national population of Madrid and that they all wanted the Games, the new sports centres, the new accommodation, the beautiful buildings, the culture, and their trump card was the future and how the Olympics would help the handicapped and many others the year after the Games were over.
I was watching this and thinking, “yes, Madrid has got it, they have thought of everything!”
The floor was open to questions; the first was about athletes being able to go to watch the other events that were far from Madrid, like the sailing in Valencia, just a matter of logistics.
Then the big question that maybe lost them the Games.
“What about doping?” The president of the Spanish Government; Zapatero answered the question by saying Spain had as good a testing facilities as anywhere in the world, but it didn’t sound great. Something said ‘oops’!
Has the ghost of “Operation Puerto” come back and bitten Spain on the arse? It looked very much like it.
There were tears at the announcement of “Rio in 2016”, but can the Minister of Sport, the judge involved and the many sportsmen (not just cyclists and not all Spanish) listed in Puerto look in the mirror tomorrow morning and not feel a little guilty?
I hope they do!