|Mario Pescante - IOC Vice President & President of Rome 2020 Bid|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 20 January 2012 16:00
Mario Pescante is a Vice President of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and President of Rome’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics. Pescante has been involved in the Olympic movement both domestically and internationally for the past forty years. He was appointed secretary general of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) in 1973 and became its President in 1993. In 2009, he became the first Italian to become a vice president of the IOC having been vice president of the Association of National Olympic Committees from 2001 to 2006. In February 2011, he was chosen to head Rome’s bid for the Games.
Pescante is also a member of the People of Freedom party, and has been a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies since 2001. At present, he is the president of the 14th Commission of the Chamber of Deputies which is in charge of European Union affairs.
by Mary Meyer
I was very interested to read that you started your career as a professor of Financial Science at the University of Rome Faculty of Law. How has your time in academia assisted you in the world of sport?
I must say that the knowledge I acquired as Lecturer in Financial Science at the University of Rome is no doubt part of my cultural and professional patrimony, but frankly I have only been unable to use it with parsimony in the world of sport. I must also add, with a little regret, that it has only been marginally useful in my daily commitments as a member of parliament. I currently chair the Community Policies Commission of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and it is well known that community policy draws inspiration from economic and financial concepts that are totally different to those I studied and taught in the now distant sixties.What is your role as one of the Vice Presidents at the IOC?
My particular concern is International Relations, as I chair the IOC Commission set up for that purpose. Within this context, I have, for a long time now, committed myself to promoting sport as a tool with which to topple all types of barrier that are obstacles to dialogue and integration between nations, not just for geographical reasons but, above all, for political, ethnic and religious contraposition.
In particular, one objective achieved has been that of cooperating with President Rogge and the competent IOC offices to open up dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli NOCs. As to this, we have made considerable steps forward. I also made my contribution as to the IOC’s ambitious design to obtain permanent observer status with the UN. This is an objective that has been achieved and President Rogge has named me permanent member with the UN in representation of the IOC.
What was your involvement in the successful Torino 2006 Winter Olympics bid?
May I first and foremost thank you for mentioning the success of the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games. I was at the time named Extraordinary Commissioner for the Games by the Italian Government so as to restart the organisational machine that for financial, managerial and institutional reasons had suffered a number of hitches.What makes the Roma 2020 bid stand out from the other cities?
I believe that a city that puts itself forward as a candidate for the Games needs to predispose a valid dossier and work on incisive communication with the IOC Members, independently of comparisons with other candidates.
Rome started off as the sole runner and now some say Istanbul are favourites – do you see this as an advantage?
Istanbul is without doubt an excellent candidature but so, for various reasons, are all the others that have joined the competition and that, as is well-known, are termed “applicant city” and not candidate city. We will have to wait till May to know the decision of the IOC Executive Board that will cut the number of current applicants and draw up a shortlist. At that point we will certainly have a better idea as to who our main adversaries are.