|Victor Sanchez- CEO, Madrid 2020|
|Profile of the week|
Víctor Sánchez (Madrid, 1959) holds a Degree in Law. Víctor is a sports enthusiast –he plays handball, tennis, badminton and fencing, through which he became a sports leader. He was Secretary General of the Spanish Fencing Federation (1985-1992) until he made the leap to the International Federation. He was appointed Executive Director in 1993 and had to move to Paris first and then to Lausanne. In December 2004, he was elected member of the Executive Committee.
His arrival to the Olympic world occurred under the mandate of Carlos Ferrer-Salat. During his presidency, Víctor was elected as General Director of the Spanish Olympic Committee in 1997 until 2001. Since then, he has been the Secretary General of the Institution, closely collaborating with four Presidents (Ferrer-Salat, Alfredo Goyeneche, José María Echevarría and Alejandro Blanco), which proves his professionalism at work.
He played an active role in the Mediterranean Games. He took charge of the management of international relations and protocol in Almeria 2005. Since 2009, he is the President of the Technical Commission of the International Committee. His work was fundamental for the election of Tarragona to host the 2017 edition.
How confident are you in Madrid 2020’s bid?
We are totally optimistic because this is our third bid in a row; we started in 2012 and we are very confident in the bid because we have been working very hard in previous years and this time also, so yes, we are very optimistic.
Madrid 2020 will be “a Games of integration”, what exactly is meant by that?
Integration is one of our main plans. It is the integration of all sectors of society, the integration of all the different nationalities living in Madrid - there are 184 different nationalities in the city - integration of private and public companies funding not only the bid but the preparation of the Games and Organising Committee and the integration of the citizens of the different regions of Spain. So we think that sport for the Spanish people can be integrative, and the people have great enthusiasm for it.
A lot of the focus for London 2012, how big a part will that pay for Madrid’s bid?
We have to take into consideration two different legacies that we can offer not only to our citizens, but also to the world. There is a material legacy which will exist basically in the creation of four new venues and also in the improvement that will be made in other venues, to refurbish and put at the disposal of the Games. But also there is a big important legacy around the values of sport and the Olympics.
And we would like to focus on the values and the promotion of the education of the Olympic spirit, putting the values in the core of the Games and using the Games as a big promotion of such values, like fair play, and this is one of the commitments of the Spanish Olympic Committee, which is leading the bid office at this time, because we are spreading out this message of what is really important in a time of global financial and social crises. What is important is to take into account the values; and the values of the sport for us our fundamental.
Where does Madrid stand in terms of its budget and infrastructure?
What is important for us is that we have not made big investments because most of them have already been done for the past bids, so Madrid has been modifying and getting all the infrastructure for the Olympic Games for the past year, so the last twenty-plus years have been fundamental for the transformation of Madrid. We do not need to create new roads or highways, new airports, new train stations or high speed trains because we already have all the sporting infrastructure.
At the same time, Madrid has been building new sport venues like the tennis centre and the swimming centre in the last few years, so we do not need to invest a lot. The government and the public administrations – at local, regional and national level – do not need to invest a lot, so our investment in terms of public investment will be less. The Olympic budget will be more or less just 10% of the budget of London 2012, which is important because in times of global financial trouble, nobody knows how the economy will be in 2020, so that is why according to our consideration, Madrid has no risk in terms of finances because we have most of the infrastructure in place.
One of your competitors - Tokyo - has suffered a lack of public support, what is the reaction like in Madrid?
Yeah, the people of Madrid are enthusiastic. We conducted a poll at the beginning of the year, with positive results; 74% of the people of Madrid voted in favour of the bid. When the IOC made their own poll in Madrid, we discovered that this percentage increased to 76%, and when we conducted a new poll for our bid file, the support of the citizens of Madrid increased up to 80%. So we are very satisfied for the people, for them in my opinion, they have shown the very enthusiastic power of the society, especially amongst the youngsters, because this support is higher for the under-25s, this is important for us, because the youth are the people who will be mature during 2020, which is important to us.