Tokyo, Madrid, Istanbul to compete for hosting 2020 Olympics
Ottawa (Canada), May 24 (Xinhua-ANI): The first full day of the 10th annual Sport Accord Convention began in Canada's Quebec City Wednesday as 1,500 delegates from amateur sporting and Olympic federations from around the world waited for news on which cities are finalists to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The 15-member executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is meeting alongside the Sport Accord event in Quebec's capital city, announced in the early evening that Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul had made the final cut.
Doha, the capital city of the Gulf state of Qatar, and Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, were rejected after failing to make the final list for the 2016 Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.
The IOC will reveal the host city of the 2020 Summer Games in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7, 2013, when Jacques Rogge will step down as president. However in Quebec City he has been a headliner.
On Tuesday, the IOC boss was the keynote speaker at a Canadian Olympic Committee luncheon in Quebec City attended by over 4,100 people, which raised over 800,000 Canadian dollars (about 783,000 U.S. dollars) for the country's athletes.
While he praised Canada's dedication to amateur sports later in a speech to convention delegates, Rogge sidestepped any questions from reporters as to whether the ongoing student protests over the provincial government of Quebec's decision to raise university tuition fees could harm the province's future chances of hosting international sports events.
Quebec City is campaigning to host a Winter Olympics after postponing its bid last year for the 2022 Games.
However, the student unrest did make an appearance at the SportAccord Convention on Tuesday. A man, wearing a tuxedo, appeared in front of the stage where Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut was about to speak, and mentioned Montreal riots over the weekend in which he said police gassed and clubbed students, before quickly exiting.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, a group of Rio Tinto Alcan employees from northern Quebec locked out by the Montreal-headquartered, aluminum-producing company several months ago, protested outside the Quebec City Convention Centre where the SportAccord international conference is being held.
The United Steelworkers, the union that represents the workers, said it chose the venue because Rio Tinto is the official supplier of the metal used to produce the 4,700 Olympics medals for the London 2012 Games.
Canada has hosted three Olympics Games: one Summer Games in Montreal in 1976, and two Winter Games in Calgary in 1988 and two years ago in Vancouver.
Next year's Sport Accord Convention will be held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from May 26 to 31. (Xinhua-ANI)
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