A host of people turned out on Saturday night to support Madrid's bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, taking part in a range of sporting activities to highlight the city's wish to host the famous Games.
Currently the race is between Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo as to who will win the right to host the XXXII Olympiad. The decision is set to be made in Buenos Aires on September 7th.
While bids failed for the previous two Summer Games, there is a growing belief that this time, with the degree of public support around, Madrid may just be successful this time around.
As Madrid mayor, Ana Botella, opened the sporting event on Saturday she said, "We deserve the Games and it is a collective dream, not just in Madrid but in Spain in general that it becomes a reality."
A number of Madrid's landmarks were used for events in the bid for the games. Retiro Park saw beach volleyball, in Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium crowds enjoyed aerobic and cardiovascular training sessions and table tennis, seven-a-side football, basketball and gymnastics activities were also held in various places throughout the city.
There was a magnificent high jump showcase at the Plaza de Cibeles by current Spanish champion Javier Bermejo and a spectacular gymnastics performance at the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá (pictured above), among others.
The main event was an eight-kilometer run, which started at 10:30 pm local time.
Bid president, Alejandro Blanco, believes the event was a clear demonstration of the public support for the bid.
"The opinion polls talk of more than 80% of public support, but it is enough to take a look at the streets of Madrid to see that this city wants the Games. This is the best opinion poll you could have and these images will be seen around the world," he said.
The media is reporting that, despite Spain's ongoing economic crisis, 81% of Madrid's citizens are, indeed, in favor of the Olympic bid.
According to the bid leaders, with the majority of sporting stadia and infrastructure already in place in Spain's capital, the cost of hosting the Games will not come anywhere near the almost £9 billion ($13.9 billion) that the London 2012 Games cost.
In fact, it is hoped that the Games could even help to stimulate the Spanish economy. More information about the infrastructure available can be seen on Madrid's 2020 website.
An excellent video of the events can be viewed below:
On an interesting note, Inside EVs is reporting that a further push to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Madrid is that, among other green initiatives, the Olympic Village would only use electric vehicles for transportation services.
According to Madrid's Olympic bid committee, no gas or diesel burners would be allowed in the village.
To the source with more photos: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/353027