WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Rival bidders for the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid, sought support for their bids from the far-flung islands of the Pacific on Saturday when senior delegations attended the general assembly of the Oceania National Olympic Committee in Nadi, Fiji.
Bid leaders stressed common goals of youth participation and Olympic solidarity as they competed for the support of Guam-based ONOC which represents 17 Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand.
The International Olympic Committee will hold the final vote to decide the host city on Sept. 7, roughly 140 days away, heightening the importance of bid presentations such as Saturday's.
The Madrid delegation was led by IOC member and International Triathlon Union president Marisol Casado and Madrid 2020 bid leader Theresa Zabell, who said they wanted to learn to accommodate the needs and ideas of the Olympic committees of Oceania.
"We are reminded of the power of the Olympic movement in every corner of the planet," Casado said. "What is interesting is that the values are translatable in every language, culture, and nationality, even when we are far from home.
"We are more similar than different."
The Turkish bid was represented by Istanbul 2020 chairman Hasan Arat, secretary-general of the Turkish National Olympic Committee, Nese Gundogan, and Istabul 2020 director of sport Alp Berger.
In a statement Istanbul 2020 said the delegation pledged "to connect Turkey's 31 million young people with the power of the Olympic movement which reflects ONOC's emphasis here on the importance of engaging youth in sport.
"The bid team had the opportunity to share Istanbul's plans for the NOC family in 2020, as well as to better understand the needs of NOCs of all sizes and regions through hearing the challenges and opportunities faced by ONOC."
Tokyo's delegation included Tsunekazu Takeda, an IOC member and president of the Japanese Olympic Committee and Yuko Arakida, sports director and president of the athletes' commission of Tokyo 2020. Takeda stressed quality and safety as keynotes of the Tokyo bid.
"Tokyo 2020 will use the power of sport to help keep Olympism at the heart of our rapidly changing world," Takeda said.
"In meeting with our friends from Oceania we wish to share with them why Tokyo is the right place to host the games and how we will deliver excellence, excitement, and innovation in 2020."