Madrid 2020: a chant to meritocracy

Publicado: septiembre 12, 2013 en Política, Responsabilidad, Sociedad
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madrid 2020

Sometimes in Knowthing we escape the hottest topics in order to avoid being repetitive or because we think we cannot add value on certain issues that are being discussed over and over in the media. But, this case is quite different; we would like to offer our vision regarding the causes that led to the failure of Spain’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.

First of all, we would like to clarify the following: we truly believe in the goodness of the Olympics, and nobody better than us: we are born in Barcelona, and we certainly know how important and beneficial the ’92 Olympic Games were for Barcelona. For this reason, we want to express our desire for Madrid to hold the Olympics, but only when the city deserves it. This is what we know as meritocracy.

Did Madrid deserve to hold the 2020 Games? Let’s be honest, absolutely not. Some of the reasons:

• We lead rankings: Spain leads at an astonishing 26.30% unemployment rate and 57.6% youth unemployment rate.

• We are not recovering the market: Domestic demand and GDP remain in the red zone.

• We are corrupt: The Spanish political class is immersed in multiple cases of corruption.

• We do not speak English: The Madrid 2020 project presentation, even though not decisive, showed little language level and political accurateness

• We sell smoke: “Spain has 50 of the total 98 votes granted”; shown in the cover of the journal “El Mundo”.

• Democracy absence: Catalonia asks to step away, despite many obstacles.

• We do not have any Project: 2020 Madrid wanted to sell a project based on austerity and economically responsible, when the IOC requires high investments levels. It makes no sense. Logically, France, Germany and Italy moved away from the Olympic race for this reason.

But let’s go further. During the week, prior to the ceremony of the Olympic Games, and even minutes before the verdict, Spain was ranked as the favorite for betting sites, thousands of people gathered in Madrid in front of the screens waiting for the final decision. It seemed to be just a mere formality.

But the most surprising thing happened minutes after the verdict, when Spain was eliminated in third place, all journalists and experts began to state reasons like these ones:

• The Spanish delegation has failed to “convince” the IOC members. It reads convincing, put bribe.

• The English level shown has been ridiculous.

• The cost of the “expedition” to Argentina , around 10 million euro. Perhaps Spain should have rethought it.

• Among the members who have travelled to Argentina are politicians, ministers and others who is not easy to understand what they are doing there.

• Barcelona won because of ICO’s president, Mr. Samaranch.

Shocking. Not because they lack reason, in fact I agree with most of them, but because they are a clear reflection of how the media and politicians manipulate us at will. In case it was not known before the vote, it is obvious that the choice of the Olympic Games venue, is often determined by chain favors, money in hand and other business and political dealings . But this is the least serious of the situation.

The problem is not losing or feeling disappointed. The stark reality is that we are not capable of self-criticism. We do not learn from our mistakes, and therefore we do not have enough intelligence to overcome difficulties that we have encountered in the past. Why do we say this? As an example, the headline shown by “El Mundo” quoting Alejandro Blanco: “The performance of Ana Botella has been extraordinary.

The lack of self-criticism, analysis and understanding have led this country, who was playing in the Champions of banking, as Zapatero said a few years ago, to the utmost of economic ruin. It has also led Madrid to bid 3 times in a row for the Olympic Games, and is still doubting whether to bid for a fourth time. Failure after failure.

Let’s be clear. The Olympic Games, given the current situation, it was a smokescreen to remove political debates, such crucial issues like education, health or the possible independence of Catalonia.

How did they think to pay for all the outstanding infrastructure development? All regional governments and municipalities, are cutting costs, and Madrid, meanwhile spending huge amounts of money in the Olympics? It seems that the government has it quite clear. As an example, we can put Luis de Guindos or Mariano Rajoy. We can deduct, then, that having won Madrid, Will all infrastructure investments have been aimed at Madrid and co – locations? In what position are left all other cities?

And looking to the future, what will happen from now on? Seeing that the Olympic bid is starting to become unreachable, it will no longer invest that “90% of infrastructures” in the capital and we will be able to start investing in the rest of Spain? It may no longer be necessary for the Mediterranean corridor to go through the center of Spain?

Even though, things are darker than ever, take a relaxing cup of “Café con Leche” in Plaza Mayor.


  1. knowthing dice:

    Which country would you have voted for the Olympics in 2020? Do you think Madrid deserved to host the Olympics? Would you bid for Madrid 2024?

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