Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Letta spurs Olympics hopes in Rome, Milan


(By Paul Virgo).
Rome, September 9 - Premier Enrico Letta has said
an Italian city may bid to host the 2024 Olympics, but some
northerners want Milan to run for the event instead of the
Rome was considered one of the favourites to land the 2020
Olympics before former premier Mario Monti decided last year to
drop its bid due to concerns about the cost in a time of
financial and economic crisis.
But Letta said that Italy could consider a bid for the 2024
Games after the International Olimpic Committee (IOC) voted in
Buenos Aires to award the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo at the weekend.
If Madrid's bid for the 2020 Games had prevailed, it would
have effectively ruled Italy out of hosting the following
Olympics, as the IOC tends to alternate continents when awarding
sport's biggest event.
"What happened in Buenos Aires makes me think that Italy
can bid for the 2024 Olympics," Letta said.
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said the capital was ready.
"There are the right conditions for Rome to bid to host the
Games because the city has all the necessary requirements,"
Marino said.
"I'll request a meeting soon with Premier Letta and the
president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni
Three-time Olympic canoeing gold medalist Antonio Rossi,
Italy's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Games in
Beijing, believes Rome should not be the automatic choice.
"I don't want to open a diatribe with Rome, but Milan has
its credentials too," Rossi said.
Lombardy Governor Roberto Maroni has said he will ask Milan
Mayor Giuliano Pisapia to stage a bid for Milan to be Italy's
candidate for the 2024 Olympics, saying the site of Expo 2015
could be used for some events.
However, Pisapia said Italy's business capital will not get
into a bitter fight with Rome over the Games.
"I've just spoken to Ignazio Marino and I can guarantee
that if the 2024 Olympics will be in Italy, there won't be any
clash between the cities and we'll take a decision together,"
said Pisapia, who like Marino was elected at the helm of a
centre-left alliance.
Marino said Monday that he saw the battle for the Olympics
as being against the rest of the world and not against Milan.
Rome has several advantages over Milan, including the fact
that it has a proven track record in holding major sporting
It hosted the 1960 Olympics and carried off a
largely successful edition of the World Swimming Championships
in 2009.
Many of the required sports facilities are up and running
and would only need upgrading.
These include the Stadio Olimpico which, unlike Milan's San
Siro, has a running track for athletics, and the pool used for
the swimming races at the 2009 world championships
Furthermore, Rome is more beautiful than Milan and
generally enjoys better weather.
The Milanese say their city is more modern and efficient.
Italy's Mario Pescante, an IOC board member who was the
head of the committee promoting Rome's 2020 bid, said the
Italian capital is in with a good chance if it runs again.
"Premier Letta wanted to give out a signal of optimism
about an event that will take place in 2024," said Pescante, who
quit as IOC vice-president after Monti sank Rome's bid for the
2020 Olympics.
"In this way he's showing that Italy is getting back on
track and looking to the future with confidence...
"At the IOC Italy and Rome are well liked".

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