Sports / China

More boon than bust

By SUN XIAOCHEN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-20 17:06

More boon than bust

Ugur Erdener, the Turkish Olympic Committee president and member of the IOC Executive Board, holds the YOG Daily. PHOTO BY SUN XIAOCHEN / CHINA DAILY

Despite concerns about increasing budgets for major sporting events, staging the Olympics provides more benefits than burden for host cities - especially in developing countries, an IOC executive board member said.

Although Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics fell short in September 2013 when Tokyo was voted the host, Ugur Erdener, the Turkish Olympic Committee president, shrugged off the disappointment and is positive about the city's ability to host the biggest sporting event in the world.

"The Turkish government and the Turkish people are ready to host Olympic Games in the future," Erdener, also an executive member of IOC, said during a round-table interview on Monday in Nanjing.

Istanbul's failed bid was its fifth try since launching its first, for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

The largest city in Turkey won't give up pursuing the Games, said Erdener, citing the 2008 Olympics' boost to urban development in Beijing.

"An Olympic Games operation is a good opportunity, especially for developing countries to solve infrastructural issues. By hosting the Olympics, our government can improve the infrastructures for the people of Istanbul.

"In well-developed cities, people often have different opinions about such big projects and worry their daily lives will be affected negatively. But in my country, like in China, the public supports major sporting event bids," said the 64-year-old professor at Hacettepe University in Ankara.

With the IOC planning to discus reforms in December about the 2020 Games, Erdener said the Nanjing Youth Olympics were already providing examples of frugality and simplified event procedures.

"If we think about all the budgets (for the Games and city development), it can be difficult (for developing countries to handle).

"If the organizing committee fits the event's operation budget into its overall city development plan (like Nanjing did), it won't be that huge, mostly," Erdener said.

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