With Istanbul being ranked as one of the world’s Top Ten tourist destinations by the New York Times, campaigners for the city’s 2020 Olympic bid see their pledge underlined for Istanbul to provide an “incomparable backdrop” for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“I am thrilled, but not surprised, that the New York Times has named Istanbul as a top 10 destination,” bid leader Hasan Arat said. “The 2020 Games in Istanbul would be at the center of a physical and symbolic bridge between East and West, cultures and continents. The city is a world-renowned cultural hub and has proven it is ready to welcome the world. Istanbul will be an exciting place for the Olympic family as the older areas of the city continue to be revitalized by the youthful population and buzzing contemporary arts scene.”
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Professor Uğur Erdener, President of the World Archery Federation and head of the NOC of Turkey, added: “Istanbul would make an inspiring host city for the Games in 2020 because it is a truly unique city. It has a rich history and a sense of tradition which fuses harmoniously with a vibrant culture and modernity. That is what I think is so appealing for tourists. Its role as a melting pot of languages, religions and races is another reason for the city’s popularity, allowing visitors a chance to sample an enticing blend of cultures in one cosmopolitan city.”
The Sport Intern in a blog produced by Karl-Heinz Huba in Lorsch, Germany. Mr. Huba can be reached via email at ISMG@aol.com. This article is reprinted here with the permission of Mr. Huba.