Qatar’s Heir Apparent Outlines Doha 2020 Bid to Association of National Olympic Committees

By John Zerafa, Moscow, 14 April: Qatar’s Heir Apparent, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Doha 2020 bid, today led Doha’s presentation to the Association of National Olympic Committees [ANOC] in Moscow.

Joining His Highness in the Doha 2020 presentation team were Noora Al Mannai, bid CEO, and Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, who will represent Qatar in swimming at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Addressing the ANOC General Assembly, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 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 the International Federations on the timing of a possible Doha 2020 Games.

“This has resulted in our proposal to host the Olympic Games from the 2nd to the 18th of October and the Paralympic Games from the 4th to the 15th of November.

“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’.”

Noora Al Mannai said:

“Qatar has put in place a Sports Master Plan which is the basis of Doha’s bid and means that 91% of our Games sports venues are already built or planned and budgeted for.

“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.

“Our geographical location makes us easily accessible to the rest of the world. And we are offering a compact and affordable Games plan which will have something for everyone.”

Nada Mohammed Wafa Arakji, said:

“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.

“Our bid is about inspiring young people and 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.”

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