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Doha launches bid for 2020 Olympics

DOHA: The Heir Apparent HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is also the president of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), on Friday officially launched Doha’s bid for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Following confirmation received from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge regarding flexibility on the dates for the 2020 Games, HH Sheikh Tamim, said, “In light of the decision of President Rogge and the IOC Executive Board, I’m delighted to formally announceDoha’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in ’20. It’s fitting that the dream of hosting the Games should come to theMiddle Eastat this time; our bid can inspire peace and is a priority for our youthful region. Sport and Olympism together instil self-discipline, teamwork, drive and help teach all of us the means of achieving our personal goals. To simply have a chance to enter the bidding process is a step closer to realising something very special for our nation, our region and the Olympic Movement.”

“I wish to personally thank (Jacques) Rogge and the IOC for guiding us through, and supporting the QOC in entering the bidding race without the disadvantage of dates. I look forward to working closely with the IOC and the wider Olympic Family hopefully all the way through to the IOC Session inBuenos Airesin September 2013 for what could be an historic moment for the Olympic Movement and theMiddle East,” he said.

QOC Secretary General Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said, “We appreciate the understanding shown by the IOC and we’ve listened and learned from our ’16 attempt to bid for the Games. We’ve also consulted all of the current Olympic sport international federations and are pleased to have received a very favourable response to our proposed dates.  This has been a fruitful journey, and we’re pleased that the IOC has granted us permission to propose hosting the Games between September 20 and October 20. We know that it is imperative that we guarantee ideal conditions for athletes, technicians and spectators, and ensure events are scheduled appropriately for broadcasters and that’s what we’ll do.”

“Dohaalready has the experience of hosting many international sporting competitions, and we’re fully committed to continuing our extensive investment in sport and sporting infrastructure. We’ve the passion, desire and the commitment to host an Olympic and Paralympic Games that the whole world will be proud of. We would ensure that a Games inDohawill be a fitting tribute to the work of the Olympic Movement to help create a better world through the power of sport.”

Qatar’s ace rally driver Nasser Al Attiyah, currently preparing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said:  “Doha’s bid for the 2020 Games is designed to inspire hope in a new and youthful Middle East, offer the entire region a chance to connect with the positive values of Olympism and greatly contribute to the promotion of the Olympic Movement throughout the region and around the world. We can bring the world’s greatest sporting event to new audiences and highlight how the spirit of human dignity and peace can be fostered through sport, helping to build bridges of understanding between different cultures, communities and nations.

“As a young boy, I watched the Games through a television screen, today I’ve the opportunity to actively represent my country in the Olympic Games and for me to welcome my fellow athletes and IOC Family as host to the Games would be a dream come true,” he added.