As Madrid preps for the IOC to come evaluate its potential as an Olympic host city next week, spirits are high despite the financial woes that have plagued the country’s economy in recent years.
In fact, the Olympics have garnered overwhelming support from the country’s citizens, as a new poll shows that 83 percent of Madrid, and 76 percent of Spain, believe the Games will have a positive impact on the country’s current situation.
“The most encouraging statistic is that 90 percent of people aged under-35 favor the bid,” said Spanish Olympic committee head Alejandro Blanco. “This shows that it is a bid looking to the future and young people see it as the best way to help the country towards economic recovery.”
Blanco also claims that Madrid will bring the most “realistic” bid to the IOC’s table before they vote in September, which will leave “the best legacy for the city, the country, and the Olympic movement.”
With 28 of the 35 venues already standing, the cost for a Madrid Olympics is estimated below $2 billion, which is less than half that of Tokyo’s $4.5 billion budget, and nowhere near Istanbul’s $19 billion earmarked for venues and government infrastructure projects.
Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
MORE: Bode Miller says ‘good likelihood’ of comeback
Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
MORE: Ethiopian legend not on Olympic marathon team