Istanbul Olympic Bid Picking Up Pace Says Official

There is “overwhelming” domestic support for Istanbul‘s 2020 Olympic bid according to Hasan Arat, chair of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee, adding that the body plans to promote the city for the games right up unti the IOC makes its decision September 7.

With Istanbul still in the running against Madrid and Tokyo in the final weeks running up to the announced winner, Turkish Officials went to London the share in an anniversary celebration of the 2012 Olympics.

Speaking at a press conference during the event Arat said that as well as overwhelming domestic support that the bid is picking up momentum outside as well. He added:

“We are concentrating on our technical excellence. We feel the last 45 days will be very important for us and we will work a lot. It’s like a final game. We will go in it to win it. That’s why we feel very strong right now.”

The three bid cities made technical presentations to the IOC members in Lausanne, Switzerland, earlier this month and will make their final presentations on the day of the vote. In the meantime, bid officials will be traveling to the world swimming championships in Barcelona, the world athletics championships in Moscow next month and other events.

“I don’t want to comment on the others, but İstanbul is really picking up after Lausanne,” Arat said, adding: “Now we are doing really very well. I can feel that from the Olympic world.”

According to Arat public support for the Olympic bid has risen to 94 percent among İstanbul residents.

The 94 percent support level is significantly higher than the 83 percent figure recorded in a poll carried out earlier this year by the IOC. That was already the highest support among the three bid cities, with 76 percent for Madrid and 70 percent for Tokyo. “The support is very strong and remaining positive,” Arat said. “We have the highest results from the IOC poll. It will increase more before Buenos Aires.”