Sheikh Tamim presents Doha 2020 Olympics bid
TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK
MOSCOW THE Heir Apparent and President of Qatar Olympic Committee His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani led a high-level delegation of the Doha 2020 Bid Committee in presenting Doha’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Moscow on Saturday.
HH the Heir Apparent introduced members of the Doha 2020 Bid Committee and presented Qatar’s case to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was joined in the presentation by Doha 2020 Bid CEO Noora al Mannai and Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, who will represent Qatar in swimming at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a Qatar Olympic Committee press release said.
HH the Heir Apparent said, “This is a bid on behalf of the entire Middle East and North Africa region. It is not a single effort of Qatar, but one of a region whose population will reach 700 million people by 2020.
“We want to utilise the 2020 Games to create new sporting and commercial opportunities for the Olympic movement and develop sporting programmes and venues that benefit an entire region.
“Athletes are at the heart of this vision. They must have the right conditions to perform. That is why the QOC has been engaging with international federations on the timing of a possible Doha 2020 Games.
“This has resulted in our proposal to host the Olympic Games from the October 2 to 18 and the Paralympic Games from the November 4 to 15.
“We have chosen those dates to deal directly with the issue of temperature.
To ensure excellent conditions for athletes, spectators, and media, similar to those of previous Olympic host cities.
“We are grateful to the federations for the support they have given to these proposals. You could say, we have finally taken the heat out of Doha’s so called ‘hot issue’.” At the beginning of the Qatari presentation, HH the Heir Apparent congratulated Member of the International Olympic Committee and President of Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad al Fahad al Jaber al Sabah on his election as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).
Doha 2020 Bid CEO Noora al Mannai pointed out that Qatar had put in place a Sports Master Plan which was the basis of Doha’s bid and meant that 91 percent of the city’s Games sports venues would already built or planned and budgeted for.
Focusing on the sustainability of Doha’s bid he said, “Our plan ensures no ‘white elephants’, it is a totally sustainable approach for the environment, for the venues, for our communities and for sport in the region.
Morover, Qatar’s geographical location makes is easily accessible to the rest of the world. “And we are offering a compact and affordable Games plan which will have something for everyone,” he argued.
Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji highlighted the gender equality aspect saying, “With Doha 2020, we have the chance through sport to ensure greater opportunities for women and girls just like me across the Middle East region.” She said that the bid is about inspiring young people, adding it also offers practical support.
“We are proposing the region’s first high performance training centre for female athletes. It will provide women and girls with the very latest facilities where they can train and develop their sporting skills and give so many young girls an opportunity that today they can only dream of.” “I believe the prospect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Doha would truly inspire change and give so many more people a chance to experience the power of the Games. To be inspired to become the best they can be. That’s what Doha 2020 means to me and my generation,” she concluded.
REUTERS NEW YORK RUSSIA and China joined the rest of the UN Security Council on Saturday to authorise the deployment of up to 30 unarmed observers to Syria to monitor the country’s fragile ceasefire as called for by UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan.
It is the first resolution the 15-nation council approved since the anti-government uprising in Syria began 13 months ago. Moscow and Beijing twice vetoed council resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s assault on protesters opposed to his rule that has killed thousands of civilians.
Despite Saturday’s unanimous vote, there were no signs that the divisions on the Security Council that have prevented it from taking action on the crisis have been overcome.
Syria’s close ally and arms supplier Moscow was satisfied with the final draft of the resolution, though Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made clear that there were limits to the kind of UN action Moscow could support.
“Out of respect for the sovereignty of Syria we have cautioned against destructive attempts at external interference or imposing any kind of illusory fixes,” he said.
Russia has accused the United States and Europe of tricking it into using a UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya to enable NATO to engage in “regime change.” Russia abstained from a March 2011 vote and allowed a council resolution authorising “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians to pass.