A delegation of Istanbul 2020 Olympic media experts today demonstrated the Bid Committee’s plans for welcoming the world’s media to Turkey with a presentation to leading international sports journalists at the 76th Association Internationale de la Press Sportive [AIPS] Congress in the host city of the next Winter Games, Sochi, Russia.
On stage for Istanbul 2020 were Ali Kiremitçioğlu, CEO of the Istanbul 2020 Bid Committee;; Esat Yılmaer, the National Olympic Committee of Turkey’s Media Director and first Vice President of AIPS; and Murat Ağca, a senior sports journalist and a member of the Istanbul 2020 Media Team. In front of over 450 AIPS Congress delegates, they described a media operations concept based around one of the most compact media footprints in Olympic history. The IBC/MPC and the 16,500-bed Media Village will be co-located in the Olympic Park, 15 minutes from the airport and with average travel times within the Olympic Park of just five minutes. A further 3,500 media hotel rooms will be distributed among the four venue zones to maximise convenience for the media.
Ali Kiremitçioğlu, speaking in French, introduced some of the key themes behind Istanbul 2020’s Games concept:
“The best Olympic stories are set against a memorable backdrop. Istanbul is a city that bridges together people, ideas, and, of course, continents. It has always been a powerful theatre: for politics; for geography; for philosophy; for culture. It has been a meeting point for millennia. This is where East meets West; where tradition meets innovation; where youth meets excellence; where capacity meets opportunity. The stories we share from the Istanbul 2020 Games will affect millions of people in many ways.”
The Istanbul 2020 presentation highlighted a number of other media-friendly proposals designed to ensure Turkey’s first ever Games are the most widely covered in history. Istanbul 2020 will offer a free wi-fi based Games-time information service accessible by handheld device, and a second satellite media centre at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre. This state-of-the-art facility will offer panoramic views over the Bosphorus and will serve the purpose of increasing services for the media while showcasing Istanbul’s beauty.
Esat Yılmaer underlined Istanbul 2020’s promise to the global media community:
“I have been part of the working press at seven Olympic Games and four Olympic Winter Games and I have seen first-hand what the media need to do their job in an effective, accurate and timely manner. Istanbul provides a setting like no other. For the 2020 Games, this will be complemented by an unparalleled working environment.
Murat Ağca added:
“Our people, a new culture, are poised for this moment. Turkey’s Olympic Law, enacted in 1992, reflects our relentless desire to embrace the power of sport. And our Master Plan for our own country reflects our capacity to deliver this great dream. The Istanbul 2020 Games will be a bridge to a new culture, and, thanks to the media, a bridge to an historic impact.”
A further four members of the Istanbul 2020 Media Team travelled to the next Olympic and Paralympic host city. The team is looking to gather insight and best practice from witnessing the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee at work, and to better understand the needs and priorities of the world’s Olympic media.