2020 Olympics host to be announced - but does anyone want them?

by Toby Manhire / 28 August, 2013
Groups in Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid would rather they didn't get the nod in a few days.
The host of the 2020 Olympics will be named in just a few days, but none of the three cities still in the running seems that keen to win, writes Alpbugra Bahadir Gultekin in the Turkish newspaper Radikal (translated at WorldCrunch).

In Tokyo, opponents argue that new construction required for the games mean “the environment will be irrevocably damaged”.

Madrid, meanwhile, has witnessed numerous protests from groups objecting to the economic drain of such an event in a country deep in economic doldrums.

“This is a great burden for a city already so deep in debt,” explains one campaigner. As in Barcelona in 1992, the only winners would be “the real estate speculators and big construction companies”.

In Istanbul, the “No to Olympics” movement is gathering steam, says Gultekin.

The already overcrowded city would be further squeezed to accommodate the games, all in the name of attracting investment, “while the natural, cultural and historical heritage of the city will be destroyed”.

A spokeperson elaborates: “We know about the Olympics from the cities that hosted them with pride and excitement and afterwards were left with destroyed neighbourhoods, heavy debts, displaced millions and facilities left to rot.”

City officials still welcome the limelight, but they may grow to regret it, says Gultekin. “Be careful what you wish for.”

*

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