IOC tours Madrid's 2016 Olympics venues

Updated: May 6, 2009, 3:40 PM ET
Associated Press

MADRID -- The International Olympic Committee evaluation team toured the proposed venues for Madrid's 2016 Games bid on Wednesday.

The 13-member team, chaired by Morocco's Nawal el Moutawakel, spent nearly 12 hours visiting the infrastructure, which is already 77 percent complete and near the center of the city.

The third day of the tour began with a visit to the proposed Olympic Stadium, where Atletico Madrid greeted the IOC team on the grounds that will be Atletico's home in a few years.

"I think they were impressed with what we had to show them," bid leader Mercedes Coghen said. "I think the visit really went well, it was spectacular and it was a good feeling all around."

The delegation arrived at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where former Madrid great Alfredo di Stefano was on hand to greet the IOC with interim president Vicente Boluda. Current players Raul Gonzalez and Iker Casillas failed to show up on the field.

Organizers said the IOC met Casillas inside the locker room after taking turns shooting on goal, with El Moutawakel showing off her goal-scoring skills.

Delegates were bused through the Olympic Village and other sites that included the "Magic Box" tennis center. The IOC evaluations wrap up on Friday.

Madrid is competing with Chicago, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Olympics.

The IOC will decide the host city at a vote in Copenhagen on Oct. 2.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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